Un-Spinning Jobs Numbers

I detect some confusion in the electorate regarding jobs numbers.  Obama claims he created 4.5 million private-sector jobs.  His critics claim he lost 4 million.  Are we better off than four years ago?  Fact-checkers, shockingly, aren't helping us sort this out very well.  So let me try. Usually, the numbers you hear are technically correct -- they would pass a raw fact check.  But the numbers are not comparable apples-to-apples and not necessarily meaningful.  It all depends on your starting point and what you are really comparing. Look at this chart, which is the total number of private sector jobs over the last five years. Source: St. Louis Fed, FRED series USPRIV. Your choice of starting point obviously makes a big difference, since the economy lost 8.9 million private-sector jobs in two years.  The table below shows the various answers you would get, depending on how you define things. Total Non-Farm Jobs Private-Sector...(Read Full Article)