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Robert Winner

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Rules are necessary

I have heard so many differing employment statistics that I went to the mats.

Unemployed means the number of people who signed up this month.

Out of work is the number on welfare last month.

Those whose entitlements have expired are not counted but are not working.

I love the August figures. Kids quit their summer jobs and return to school. McDonalds hires new part timers. This is called a job gain.

All of the people who were laid off in the auto industry and called back are job gains.

I think it is time to make some rules so that all of the stats are the same.

If you are not working You are unemployed PERIOD.

If your are hired into a 40 hour week job You are a job gain.

Part time does not qualify as a job gain. You could be a part time lawn person and next week a part time pool person and next week a bartender and next week dishwasher. In todays stats that would be a gain of four jobs that month based on one person.

How would you make changes that would acurately reflect the employment statistics in the United States.

I want it to be apples to apples for both parties. One stat.

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    Sep 13 2012: Yes...to be broken....
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      Sep 13 2012: If there were established rules .... then we could more easily see when they are broken.

      That we are being lied to is not a question. At some point we have to know the extent of the problem we are facing. That is why we need the rules.
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    Sep 8 2012: One of the problems with statistics is what is the unit of measure.

    They changed the unit of measure for unemployment in the early 80's? The one that really blows my mind is how they arrive at the inflation rate.

    I think most people know that this statistic is propaganda?

    I guess the bigger issue is the maxim if you want to manage it you have to measure it. The corollary is that NO ONE is managing employment.
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    Sep 8 2012: i don't like your system either. my problems:

    1. if you are not working, you are unemployed ... or retired. or stay at home mom. student. lazy millionaire. taking a nap between jobs. the correct rule would be not employed but wants to be employed. but it is not easy to measure "want".

    2. 40 hour is arbitrary number. if someone wants to work 35 or 25, why would we count that person as unemployed? and if someone works 40. but wants to work 50, is that person underemployed? i say yes.

    ii have two proposals to fix it. one is to count the total work hours, and nothing more. normally, it should not change fast, and per person it should go down very slowly, as we prefer more leisure.

    the second proposal is to stop counting that altogether. the government should not take care of employment. they should take care of regulations that limit and hinder economic activities. they should eliminate stupid laws. you don't need statistics to eliminate stupid laws.
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    Sep 8 2012: We are selectively blind while using information / data/ statistics....

    Instead of drawing the big picture , we pick and choose through our selective blindness to draw our own picture.
    Due to such selectivity of blindness as well as our tendency of not going beyond data or information to get real insight....the well known saying formed which is Statistics is one of the 3 LIEs....

    You are right , we need to have agreed upon definitions , rules....
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      Sep 8 2012: The real problem is that we are in an election year and these stats are being thrown around and the "sheeple" believe what ever they are told.

      We have lost the ability to individual thought. (Some not all)
      • Sep 8 2012: the "sheeple" believe what ever they are told.

        That is the real problem. Period.
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    Sep 8 2012: Damn Rob,you should design an app that people can use to say when they are available for work and run off those figures, your brilliant,i wish i could jump in your head and hitch a ride,permission asked of course.
  • Sep 8 2012: In principle I agree with you. But you must realize that you are dealing with political tools.

    There are lies, damned lies and statistics.
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    Sep 8 2012: I agree... but I would be careful about the part time not counting. I know this might sound really stupid... but the best example I can give you, is waiting tables and pizza delivery. If you are a man or woman of simple pleasures, and you're willing to put a big fake smile on your face 25 hours a week... You can actually make a perfectly decent living.

    It's not what most people go for, but it is an actual job gain, if it's long term part time work, for someone who simply isn't looking for something better, and even students.
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      Sep 8 2012: David, Yeah I thought about this area of part time. The problem I have is that it skews the stats so bad and I think it would be really hard to keep accurate tabs on. I did not consider it because I think that this area could, and would, be manipulated by politicans and we would still have the same problem with accuracy that we have now. One guy could hold two part time jobs or make four changes of jobs in one month and the figures reflect the jobs but not that it is one person.

      We have hundreds of thousands that have run out of benefits and are not charted at all. We have many who have just given up looking for a job and not charted. The same problem exists in keeping them in the stats. How do you track them.

      The administration is holding to the current method which indicates around 10%. It is generally accepted that the number is between 15 and 20%.

      I think that 82.756% of all statistics are made up and I can prove that within 12.652% based on 83.289% of the population that participated in at least 87.458% of the survey which proved to be 98.788% accurate. Wow I could be a politician.

      Thanks for the reply. Hope you can find a way to include all of these people.

      How about if the part time job is reported as filled or empty and must be of six months in length or more. It would still get a lot of double hits but at least it would be counted.
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        Sep 9 2012: Ya, I would suggest the easiest way would be to count only part time job gains that last an entire year... but it is a complicated problem, and I do agree that it is manipulated constantly. I use the 10% figure, because no one can argue it's lower, lol.
  • Sep 8 2012: Makes very good sense to me. Glad you are a thinker!