Monday, January 5, 2009

Job Loss Deceptions

Note: I rewrote this post after locating the video and reviewing exactly what Obama claimed.

Today, 34 seconds into this video, Obama claimed:
“we will have lost in 2008, uh, more jobs than at any time since, uh, World War II.”
In absolute numbers, that MAY turn out to be true. However, after adjusting for population growth (as any HONEST politician or reporter would), it is not likely to be accurate. The TRUTH is that, based on current guesstimates, 1982 will have been worse than 2008 where job losses are concerned.

These are the facts, with the data sources listed below:

In 1945, more than 1.538% of Americans lost their jobs.

In 1982, 0.913% of Americans lost their jobs.

Preliminary guesstimates suggest that in 2008, 0.788% of Americans will have lost their jobs.

Data sources:

Jobs lost (for each year cited): BLS data, plus this reported estimate of 500,000 jobs lost in December, 2008.

1945 population data: 1950 census data (resulting in an under calculation of the percentage of job losses).

1982 population data: The November data for 1982.

2008 population data: The November data for 2008 (the most recent data currently available).

This is just one of many, many, many reasons why the percent of Americans who are unemployed is a FAR better metric for comparison than absolute numbers of job losses.

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