Cooking with Numbers

In the morning, I love to read different news sources. This morning I noticed that Obama wants to extend unemployment; his argument being that the injected wealth into society is keeping unemployment down to 7%. He went on to praise two law makers (one an R., the other a D.) who are trying to pass legislation to do just that. Naturally, the R.’s are against such an extension as they claim this philosophy never has worked. I did some digging…..and they’re right.

When I read 7% unemployment, it just reeks of numbers cooked. I started surfing and came upon a very informative site. This site is called

Apparently, this fella, Walter John Williams (not to be confused with my boyfriend, Walter E. Williams) has been working with companies for the past 30 years to give them the “real” picture.

Obviously, the information he provides to companies for a “realistic” number is just as imperative as the govt. economist cooking the books and providing that “sweet” number for the politicians. I’m going to show you a graph of unemployment. Are we lookin at 7%? Try 22.9%!

First off, here is the site: Now let’s go to No. 522: Federal Debt Limit, State-by-State Unemployment, Consumer Credit

The following three tables show two versions of state-by-state unemployment rates. The first version (Table 1) shows the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with annual-average unemployment rates for the year-ended March 2013, covering the headline U.3 and the broader U.6 unemployment rates. As discussed in Commentary No. 521, the defining element of U.3 is that the unemployed have to have looked actively for work within the last four weeks. If the last active job search was more than four weeks but less than one year before, then the unemployed are counted as discouraged workers. U.6, includes U.3 adjusted for those who are working part-time for economic reasons (i.e. cannot find a full-time job), plus those marginally-attached to the labor force (including short-term discouraged workers).

Tables 2 and 3 are estimated for the single month of March 2013 (as opposed to the full year through March), with U.3, U.6 and the ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Measure. The ShadowStats measure is U.6 plus the long-term discouraged workers. As short-term discouraged workers regularly roll out of U.6 into long-term status, the ShadowStats measure increasingly has diverged to the upside, away from the current downtrends in U.3 and U.6. Again, see Commentary No. 521 for further detail.

The monthly March 2013 breakout of U.3 by state is as published by the BLS (April is not available). Based on BLS reporting, including the aggregate U.6 for March, historical patterns of the four-quarter reporting by state and monthly aggregate reporting for U.6, and historical patterns of monthly employment versus population estimates by state, ShadowStats has modeled and provides rough estimates of the broader monthly unemployment numbers by state. Again, these are rough estimates, but they are indicative of the wide variation in economic activity by state and region.

(I’m giving a summation, but it is most helpful if you read the site’s articles.) Now for the fun part!!

I tell you, I may not be so great at numbers, but I’m a pretty damn good cook!

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