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Thread: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    Obviously they are the same. Looks like somebody used the government numbers under their own name.
    Nope. The red line comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment survey, while the blue line comes from ADP (Automatic Data Processing) which process about 20% of private sector paychecks in the U.S.

    There is certainly variation between the two, as they are calculated separately using different samples, but most times the difference is small. For example, in December, ADP showed an increase of 153,000 private sector payroll jobs, while BLS only showed an increase of 144,000.

    So...you have claimed you'd believe private sector over government, but what do you do when they match?

    For Unemployment, Gallup runs their own survey and while the differences between the Gallup and BLS rates can be large, they're never statistically significant in that BLS has a margin of error of +/- 0.2 percentage points at 90% confidence while Gallup has a an error of +/- 0.7 percentage points. So considering those to ranges always overlap and the BLS sample is about 4 times as large ...30,000 adults/month for Gallup and 60,000 households for BLS (close to 120,000 individuals)...and Gallup only counts age 18+ while BLS uses 16+ there's never any clear difference between the two.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    Nope. The red line comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment survey, while the blue line comes from ADP (Automatic Data Processing) which process about 20% of private sector paychecks in the U.S.

    There is certainly variation between the two, as they are calculated separately using different samples, but most times the difference is small. For example, in December, ADP showed an increase of 153,000 private sector payroll jobs, while BLS only showed an increase of 144,000.

    So...you have claimed you'd believe private sector over government, but what do you do when they match?

    For Unemployment, Gallup runs their own survey and while the differences between the Gallup and BLS rates can be large, they're never statistically significant in that BLS has a margin of error of +/- 0.2 percentage points at 90% confidence while Gallup has a an error of +/- 0.7 percentage points. So considering those to ranges always overlap and the BLS sample is about 4 times as large ...30,000 adults/month for Gallup and 60,000 households for BLS (close to 120,000 individuals)...and Gallup only counts age 18+ while BLS uses 16+ there's never any clear difference between the two.
    OK. I don't have time to look into the methodology of the statistics but they don't appear to deal with part time employment vs. full time and the quality of the jobs. The reason I'm fussing with you is that the statistics don't jibe with public opinion.

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    I would view jobs reports developed in the private sector as accurate. Government statistics about politically charged issues don't have credibility with me.
    Cause the private sector has such a great track record with being honest about politically charged issues (cough: cigarettes causing cancer, CFCs, food safety, pharmaceuticals and "alternative medicine", oil companies on climate change, etc).

    We have the government do these things for a reason. Private industries could manufacture a labor crisis to get the governments to cut regulations and lower taxes. If President's really had the power to fudge the BLS numbers, why did Obama and Bush let them get so bad in the first place?

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by vash1012 View Post
    Cause the private sector has such a great track record with being honest about politically charged issues (cough: cigarettes causing cancer, CFCs, food safety, pharmaceuticals and "alternative medicine", oil companies on climate change, etc).

    We have the government do these things for a reason. Private industries could manufacture a labor crisis to get the governments to cut regulations and lower taxes. If President's really had the power to fudge the BLS numbers, why did Obama and Bush let them get so bad in the first place?
    Ahh...the non-partisan government...just here to protect us from ourselves.
    "We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the ******* irony in that." - Justin Halpern

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_State View Post
    Ahh...the non-partisan government...just here to protect us from ourselves.
    You realize the American government is founded on the idea of separate, autonomous, accountable institutions? The BLS is one of those. Find any evidence at all that the numbers are skewed for political purposes. You can't.

    No one is immune from bias and conflicts of interest, but this idea that a privately funded measure of unemployment would be less likely to be corrupted is pure bull.

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by vash1012 View Post
    You realize the American government is founded on the idea of separate, autonomous, accountable institutions? The BLS is one of those. Find any evidence at all that the numbers are skewed for political purposes. You can't.

    No one is immune from bias and conflicts of interest, but this idea that a privately funded measure of unemployment would be less likely to be corrupted is pure bull.
    Your point was that the private sector does not have a great track record of telling the truth. Mine was that our government is biased, and they don't always tell the truth either. I have one government, but many companies to choose from.
    "We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the ******* irony in that." - Justin Halpern

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_State View Post
    Ahh...the non-partisan government...just here to protect us from ourselves.
    You've never worked in the Federal government, have you? Most of it is non-partisan. Only at the top level of an agency at the policy-maker level are politics at all important.

    That can have an effect at lower levels....for example, under Bush publication of the differences between male and female pay were strongly discouraged and curtailed. When BLS stopped asking about women workers in the Current Establishment Survey, politics force them to bring it back. Obama required a new program on Green Jobs, which most people found ridiculous, no one at BLS really cared for it and nobody mourned when the program was axed due to sequestration.

    But actual calculation of data? There's no politics there.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_State View Post
    Your point was that the private sector does not have a great track record of telling the truth. Mine was that our government is biased, and they don't always tell the truth either. I have one government, but many companies to choose from.
    No, you don't have "one government". Our government is composed of half a hundred separate institutions, with varying degrees of autonomy and accountability. Each of these instutions is staffed by people with political views and biases across the spectrum. This is by design so there are counterbalancing forces hopefully preventing exactly what you are talking about. We don't live in an autocracy. You guys and Trump have polticized non-political instutions by claiming they are lying due to politicization even though that is not occuring to any extreme degree. This is a huge problem and threatens to undermine our democracy. The irony is its a problem you are creating out of paranoia that it already exists.
    Last edited by vash1012; 01-09-17 at 11:17 AM.

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    With Trump’s immigration policy, doesn’t that improve the unemployment rate simply by eliminating the competition, as you imply?
    Not really.

    There are a variety of issues with assuming that legal workers can replace unauthorized workers. One is that legal workers are more expensive, as they must be paid on the books and are subject to minimum wages.

    Another is that most of the work they're doing is low-skilled work that doesn't pay well. Few American citizens are clamoring for jobs picking fruit at $7.25 per hour.

    A third is mobility. A migrant who has already left home is highly mobile, and can go wherever the jobs are. His or her social networks are already spread out across the US, so he or she may know where there's work. A 55 year old former factory worker will likely have family, friends, work networks, mortgages, kids in school etc which reduces his or her ability to move once a year to follow the jobs. They also may not have the requisite networks to find work in a new area.


    I’m not sure how Trump’s immigration policy would not help GDP growth, in and of itself. It could actually improve GDP per capita (PPP). Any help?
    It won't increase GDP.

    Those migrants do in fact consume goods and services right here in America. They pay rent, they buy food, they buy clothes, they buy beer. Most of their income is not saved, which means they have high multiplier factors.

    My rough guess is that the billions spent to deport them (which is counted in GDP) will be offset by the lost productivity and spending.


    Corporate after tax profits as a percentage of GDP are the highest they’ve been since 1928. What corporation cares what the regulations are as long as they’re making money, money, money?
    They want to pay less in taxes, and less in compliance with regulators. They also want to work without restrictions.

    The problem is that almost every regulation has a reason for its implementation. We passed regulations on auto emissions, because smog was choking our cities. We passed regulations on the banks, because when they operate without regulations they are far more likely to drive the economy into the ground (as we saw in the Great Depression and 2007-2008).

    Regulations can become byzantine, and careful pruning or streamlining can be warranted. However, the mere idea that "all regulation is bad" is a partisan one, that ultimately doesn't make sense.

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    Re: Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘Very Close to Full Employment’ WSJ

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    You've never worked in the Federal government, have you? Most of it is non-partisan. Only at the top level of an agency at the policy-maker level are politics at all important.

    That can have an effect at lower levels....for example, under Bush publication of the differences between male and female pay were strongly discouraged and curtailed. When BLS stopped asking about women workers in the Current Establishment Survey, politics force them to bring it back. Obama required a new program on Green Jobs, which most people found ridiculous, no one at BLS really cared for it and nobody mourned when the program was axed due to sequestration.

    But actual calculation of data? There's no politics there.
    Since I worked for and with the Federal Government...should I ignore the rest of your response so you can try another tact?
    "We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the ******* irony in that." - Justin Halpern

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