Liberals Turn to Conspiracies to Explain May Job Growth

Liberals Turn to Conspiracies to Explain May Job Growth

Last week’s job report was so strong that liberals are turning to conspiracy theories to explain it away.

For anyone who missed it, the unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May as the economy added 2.5 million jobs. This came after shedding a combined 22.1 million jobs in March and April. Analysts had expected the economy to hemorrhage another 8 million jobs in May.

Paul Krugman, who is somehow a Nobel Laureate in economics, theorized that perhaps Trump had “gotten to” the Bureau of Labor Statistics and got them to cook the books (leading one why he wouldn’t have led them to do the same in March and April). Krugman later apologized after a former BLS Commissioner pointed out how absurd his “theory” was (as it would require nearly 2,400 career staff to fudge the numbers).

The Washington Post’s Heather Long at least attempted to do some real analysis with her theory that the figures were misleading at best. According to her own misleading reporting: “When the U.S. government’s official jobs report for May came out on Friday, it included a note at the bottom saying there had been a major ‘error’ indicating that the unemployment rate likely should be higher than the widely reported 13.3 percent rate. The special note said that if this ‘misclassification error’ had not occurred, the ‘overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,’ meaning the unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May. But that would still be an improvement from an unemployment rate of about 19.7 percent for April, applying the same standards.”

First it should be mentioned that this classification issue is nothing new, and it’s not something that there was any effort to “cover up.” It’s literally mentioned in the BLS reports for April and May.

While Long did hint at this, she didn’t explicitly mention the size of the “misclassification” error for April, which was five percentage points (compared to May’s three percentage points). In other words, while the unemployment rate would be higher in May than previously claimed, the size of the decline in the unemployment rate was also larger than previously claimed. Without misclassification errors accounted for the unemployment rate fell from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May (down 1.4 percentage points), but with them the decline is 3.4 percentage points (from 19.7% to 16.3%), more than twice as much.

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