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employment figures

Is the number of net jobs alone significant?
 
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Here is what maddens me (lately). One side proclaims victory because 30,000 more jobs were created than destroyed in one month. The other side proclaims ruin at news of the opposite. The measure is flawed. All know this. A better metric might be the total income created or destroyed in a period. Jobs created x average salary - Jobs lost x average salary.

Why not? Noboby likes too much honesty.

wave_man, Dec 06 2003

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       It's a fair point. If during the same period IBM outsources 10,000 software engineering jobs to India, and McDonalds hires 10,000 new fry cooks, you would say unemployment stayed even. But thats a net loss to the enconomy, because software engineers make far more than fry cooks.
krelnik, Dec 06 2003
  

       This isn't an idea.   

       The point missed by the author is what purpose is served by these numbers even being made public at all. It is entirely for political gain and nothing else. Honesty has nothing to do with it and never did.   

       It was pointed out on a talk radio program yesterday that apparently there are 2 million more jobs in the USA now than then Bush was first elected, but unemployment rates are almost 2% higher. The fact that it is possible for both of these things to be true is being completely ignored, and it doesn't stop the left and the right from using the figure which best suits their needs and not mentioning the other.   

       At other times in US history, active duty military personnel are variously added or removed from the unemployment roster depending on how it affects the numbers favourably for the government.
waugsqueke, Dec 06 2003
  

       I am amused by your cheek, Waug.   

       "This isn't an idea."   

       How fierce. I guess the point you missed, aside from how to play well with others, is that I do not find a moot acceptance of dishonesty to be an acceptable societal norm. You can stop fighting for what you believe in any day with my full approval, because I actually don't give a whit about you. However, do not expect me to do the same.   

       wave_
wave_man, Dec 06 2003
  

       I am with [waugs] here. We all know that there are 'Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics' involved in every government. Neither do the majority of us (I suggest) openly condone dishonesty in government. What I would like to say is this:
Your 'idea' really boils down to 'Governments should publish reliable and honest statistics and I think that this might be one of them'.
I don't know that this is the correct forum for such a statement.
gnomethang, Dec 06 2003
  

       Quite.
gnomethang, Dec 06 2003
  

       Actually, this is why we also have measures like GDP and productivity. With employment statistics, we are trying to measure the health of the US economy, not individual well-being (that is tracked elsewhere).   

       It is a well-established phenomenon that unemployment can go down without employment going up; any reputable commentator will note that this is because people give up hope and stop registering as unemployed.   

       You own statistic, while interesting, is flawed, in that fewer people working at higher wages may look better than more people working at lower wages. I mean, just because half a dozen CEOs get mega-million dollar payouts for steering their companies into bankruptcy, I don't think we all want to celebrate.
DrCurry, Dec 06 2003
  

       <humble sigh...>   

       I stand corrected. This is not an idea by the standards of this audience. I will endeavor to improve.
wave_man, Dec 06 2003
  

       He will endeavah.. to do bettah... in the fewchah.   

       // only consolation is that the fudge is comprised the same way each time. //   

       This isn't true of the US arrangement, interestingly enough. I'll see if I can find more information about the military being added/removed from the books.
waugsqueke, Dec 07 2003
  

       My point.
DrCurry, Dec 07 2003
  

       It's just that some Americans are more equal than others.
Fishrat, Dec 08 2003
  
      
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