I have written numerous times about the misleading employment and jobs numbers put out the Bureau of Labor Statistics, likely for political reasons. A website called ZeroHedge has lots of financial-related info and does one of the best jobs of digging into the official releases and revealing the inconsistencies. Once again in January BLS gave a picture of strong job growth and once again, the real numbers aren’t so reassuring. As usual, one of issues is a blizzard of seasonal and other adjustments which obscure raw numbers and trends. This month the supposedly robust job growth actually included no growth in full-time jobs and 680,000 new part-time jobs. Go figure. I think someone at BLS just sits on the toilet at work and makes this stuff up.
Average hourly wage growth appeared to slow, which may help with inflation pressures, but also means that workers aren’t catching up the past inflation that raised prices hired, reducing their ability to spend and it is consumer spending that really powers our economy. To fix the dissonance betweent the establishment and household surveys, BLS didn’t reduce jobs from the establishment survey, which the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said would be appropriate, it raised them in the household survey! The reason–oh, one of those adjustments to the seasonal adjustment. Pretty wild when you need to adjust your adjustments to get an answer you like. This dissonance between the two surveys is still over 2 million employed persons. If the Republicans in the House want to do something useful, they might start by investigating the BLS employment numbers. (ZH Post)