The Jobs Numbers Aren’t “Cooked”

The unemployment numbers sure did seem conveniently low when they were released right after Obama’s dismal debate performance. It didn’t take long for those in conservative circles to start denouncing the numbers as being “cooked.” But I’m not so sure anymore. I know for a while that we decried the polls as well, saying they were skewed to favor Obama. Although those things certainly wouldn’t be surprising, I don’t think it’s necessarily the case.

I was listening to Erick Erickson the other night on his radio show, and he was pointing out how there really isn’t any “crazy conspiracy” with the jobs numbers. He encouraged listeners to delve into the breakdown of the jobs numbers to find out what kind of jobs are being created. He explained that the unemployment report is actually still bad for Obama, even though the numbers went down. Erickson quoted Phil Klein of the Washington Examiner:

[A] more detailed look at these numbers shows that 572,000 — or about 67 percent — of the reported job gains that contributed to the reduction in the unemployment rate came from workers who had to settle for part time work. BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] explains that, “The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”

So these people used to have real full time positions, but when the economic “recovery” hit them, they lost their jobs, and now they’re having to settle for one or more part time jobs because they’ve stopped looking for full time employment. It’s good that people are working, but it’s not good that they have to depend on their part time employment because of a lack of available full time work. These are not things that happen in a true economic recovery. As Erickson said on, “Flipping burgers at McDonalds on a part time basis has suddenly become a job Barack Obama wants to brag about as a full time success story. There’s the issue. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s crap.”

We know that the numbers don’t include people who have given up looking for work, and that is “cooking the books” so to speak, and it’s the main reason the unemployment numbers are so low. But the new numbers indicate that things are still bad even from Obama’s perspective.

I haven’t had a “real” full time job since October of 2009, just 4 months into the “recovery.” Since then, I’ve been trying to make a few part time positions work. I’m not complaining. It is harder now than it was 4 years ago, and Obama hasn’t done anything to make things easier. The one thing he could do to make things better is something that he will never do unless he’s voted out of office: get the government out of the way.