Does anyone really beleive the 'official' unemployment number?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, an independent agency of the federal government, released its unemployment numbers on Friday and after an arcane, but completely transparent process, determined that the official rate of joblessness was unchanged from last month at 8.3%. It's not that the BLS tries to hide the bad news. They are statisticians, and therefore, interested in trying to build consistency within their computations. To that end, they have all sorts of formulas that are designed to smooth out seasonal and monthly fluctuations, remove variables like the number of discouraged workers (a figure that they can't quantify), and ignore the number of part time workers who might want to be working full time but can't find a job (another variable that is impossible to quantify). I have taken some time to defend the BLS because so many on our side of the aisle believe that there's some funny business involved in figuring the official rate. Although everyone knows the real unemployment...(Read Full Post)