I call BS on the BLS!

Three applicants answer a "help wanted" add for a business accountant.
One's a mathematician, one's an economist and one's a statistician. The boss asks them all, "what's 2+2?"
The mathematician answers: "Four! And I can prove it with theorems!" The Economist answered: "Four! But, perhaps not!" The Statistician replies:
"How much do you want it to be?"

I really do my best to remain dispassionate and just simply relay the information I want to share without emotion or bias but this is ridiculous! I can't NOT express my exasperation with the way the official BLS unemployment numbers are just put out there with a straight face. I admit to feeling insulted and angry when I get treated as if I'm stupid. Doesn't everyone?

Last week, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) insulted everyone's intelligence with a print that has little if anything at all to do with the actual labor market situation. In fact, if we're to believe the BLS then the US is enjoying the lowest unemployment rate since 1954 - no kidding.

Every week I hear about layoffs in the 10's of thousands from every industry imaginable but no, we're actually almost at "full employment" based on our own, official experts who's single purpose is to accurately monitor the US Labor market. The official Unemployment Number is used by governments and major corporations in their massive spending plans so getting it right (or wrong) has real-world consequences.

"The January jobs report showed extremely robust growth, higher than the highest estimate in the Bloomberg survey. If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is too good to be true — the gain is mostly due to seasonal factors and revisions to past data. The Fed likely won’t place too much weight on this report in formulating policy."

Ok so, if the Fed knows the numbers are unreliable why did the markets shoot up as if they are??

Most business owners know what's up though, employment is an issue for most of them and there's many indications in my daily discussions that there's nowhere near full employment now. Most labor problems I hear about involve some kind of specialization. That is, there's a shortage of some kinds of employment like electrical contractors and equipment repair but oversupply in others like unskilled labor.

It is abundantly clear however that no one can rely on the official statistics anymore regarding labor conditions or inflation. Here are what the "un-official" numbers that I consider to be more reliable than the official ones simply because they use the old official formula's not "adjusted" or "revised" in order to goal-seek specific, politically preferable numbers.

"January 2023 Unemployment U.3 moved lower from 3.47% to 3.43%, but the broader headline U.6 moved higher from 6.53% to 6.64%, with the more comprehensive ShadowStats measure rising from 24.4% to 24.5% on top of the U.6."

That's right, you read that correctly: The actual unemployment right now is closer to 25% if you calculate it honestly without massaging, adjusting, revising or otherwise manipulating them.

"Today’s (February 3rd) January 2023 Employment and Unemployment numbers were meaningfully distorted and disrupted by major Payroll benchmark revisions and series redefinitions."

My readers know this already of course; thankfully, the correct information is out there and our network of business owners talking to each other, doing business and sharing information is working well.

despite the unreliable numbers we're more informed than ever! maybe that's because we all know there's no one coming to help us and so by sharing and communicating we're all doing our part to keep the system healthy.

Community is more important than ever, bottom up, not top-down is where you'll find the most growth and opportunity.

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