The Corner

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Alan Reynolds on unemployment: “When government officials asked people if they had a job last month, 137.6 million said ‘yes.’ But when employers were asked, they said they had only 129.8 million on nonfarm payrolls.

“There are several reasons why the number of people on business payrolls is bound to undercount the number of workers. . . . What is nonetheless quite remarkable is that these two measures of employment are now much further apart than they were back in early 2001. . . .

“Depending entirely on which measure you choose, we have either recovered all the jobs lost during the recession or lost 2.7 million. Reporters who relish bad news and bad politics invariably tout the latter figure. . . .

“Yet to the debatable extent employment might affect next year’s election, it is the household survey rather than the payroll survey that surely matters. If 137.6 million people say they have jobs, what difference could it possibly make if the payroll survey implies a few million of them are somehow mistaken?”

The whole thing is worth reading.


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