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  • Writer's pictureBob Brooks

Are the Employment Numbers Fake News?

I will resist the urge to get on my soapbox about the inaccuracy (wrong, misrepresented, government accounting) of the unemployment numbers as reported by the government. Yet, I will give you one more odd occurrence that recently showed up.

The Department of Labor reports employment numbers every first Friday of the month. The government also figures the birth/death ratio, which is a government employment "estimate" (you know where this is going). The birth/death ratio is the number of jobs created or lost that the government estimates and adds or subtracts from the Department of Labor's final number. In a sense, they are adding or subtracting numbers they feel are being missed by the employment formula.

Here is the wiki definition:

The birth-death ratio is an estimate of the net number of jobs in a given period that have been made by new businesses, or births, and lost to business closings, or deaths. Birth-death figures are distributed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and add to the data contained in its month-to-month Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey.

I check it from time to time. This past month it was estimated that 261,000 jobs were created in the month of October. Now that is a pretty healthy number. How could we get such a large number right in the middle of inflation, and other economic numbers in no way support that being reality?

POOF! Let's add in 455,000 jobs through the birth/death ratio. What happens if you take that "estimate" away? We would have job loss. Keep in mind these numbers were released prior to this week's Tuesday elections. Wait, it gets better. Guess what the largest birth/death number has been since they started this practice? I looked:


Mid-terms? Coincidence?

If you have further questions for Bob, please visit the Ask Bob page on the website, and Bob will get back to you.


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