Unemployment 'Math': Statistical Lies

If they were honest, the headlines would read "Few jobs created last month while many give up looking and fall off the rolls."

Friday morning I was listening to MSNBC while eating breakfast. Here's a transcript of what almost made me choke on my food -

00:01:33 And numbers just in.
00:01:34 A big drop in the unemployment rate.
00:01:38 Down to 9%, but the economy actually added fewer jobs than it has in the last four months.
00:01:42 Another perplexing jobs report.
00:01:44 Good morning, everyone.
00:01:45 IT'S FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4th, 2011.

Now I thought, what the hell kind of journalism is this? MSNBC, you need to dig a bit deeper. First of all, the journalist states "Down to 9%". Down from what? Don't just sit there and look dumbfounded and blurt out "Another perplexing jobs report."

Later I read about this miraculous unemployment math in the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal article was just as ridiculous as MSNBC's efforts. They actually blamed the poor employment numbers on the weather. As usual, I found many of the comments after the article to be more insightful than the so-called journalism.

Why do U.S. taxpayers pay government employees to tell us statistical falsehoods? And why does the media buy into this nonsense or make silly excuses for their fuzzy math?

The U.S. government and the media are well aware of how math illiterate Americans are. They minimized statistics published in December 2010 detailing American students' shortcomings on international math exams.

And which country came in number one in math, reading and science - China! While Americans were out running up their credit cards holiday shopping, buying Chinese goods, the government and media quietly "announce" that the Chinese clobbered us in math. Then the government and media exploit our low level of math proficiency by lying to us about the real unemployment data.

What genius decided that people are no longer unemployed just because they ran out of unemployment benefits? In this case, it's the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that appears to be distorting the unemployment data. It should be relatively straightforward to COUNT the number of people who are unemployed, underemployed, working part-time, working full-time, etc.

Perhaps BLS can fire some of the statisticians and economists who are distorting the data and hire some unemployment "parole officers" to go to homeless shelters, tent cities, etc to find the unemployed Americans and legal residents. Have these unemployment "parole officers" work directly with the unemployed to collect the data - even after they exhaust their unemployment benefits.

Okay, I confess, I am biased towards math. I actually love it. But I say this as a person very concerned about the future of our country. Parents need to demand that their children learn math. Math literate citizens are less likely to get ripped off by Wall Street. These math literate citizens will use analytical reasoning to see through the lies of its government and ridiculous insults from its mainstream media.

The U.S. taxpayers should be demanding that our paid government servants actually SERVE us and that the media report realistic, intelligent news -- not tell us STATISTICAL LIES!

Unemployment and math illiteracy are major problems in the U.S. - affecting people of all genders, ages and races. However, recent studies reveal that as women's job losses mount, some women, especially unmarried women, are facing an increasingly grim job market.