Do you remember the last time the unemployment and job numbers were published? Do you remember that former GE CEO Jack Welch blasted the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for political bias because the numbers showed a sudden and significant drop in unemployment to 7.8 percent or two tenths of a percent below the critical 8 percent threshold?
Do you remember that Jack said the movements then reflected in the numbers were impossible and that the way the numbers were collected and calculated was illogical and basically said the political fix was in?
Well the numbers came out again Friday morning. They show an increase of 175,000 jobs but also an increase in the unemployment rate from 7.8 to 7.9 percent. Now at first glance that seems a little odd. Jobs are increasing and the unemployment rate is rising?
More important though is the fact that the figures show the unemployment rate rising just four days before the election. You wouldn't expect a BLS that was politically biased in favor of Obama to be publishing an increase in the unemployment rate at this moment.
So Jack, why aren't we hearing from you now about how crazy these numbers are and how nutty the collection and calculation methods are?
It's because things aren't going your way isn't it?
Clyde Prestowitz is the president of the Economic Strategy Institute and writes on the global economy for FP.