Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: May 3, 2013

Economic Statistics for 3 May 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The BLS reports that 165,000 net new jobs were created in April. The unemployment rate declined 0.1% to 7.5%. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2%, but the average workweek declined to 34.4 hours. Overall, another lackluster report, but the internals of the Household survey are little better than they have been. 210,000 people entered the labor force, and 293,000 more people were employed than last month. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at a historically low 63.3%, while the employment-population ratio rose a single tick to 58.6. Even using the historical labor force participation rate, the real rate of unemployment declined slightly to 11.54% in April from 11.65% in March. Overall, a weak report, but with some small signs of improvement from last month.

Factory orders declined by -4.0% in March, showing weakness in all categories. Moreover, February’s orders were revised downwards to 1.9% from 3.0%.

The ISM Non-Mfg Index fell 1.3 points to 53.1 in April.

Dale Franks
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Don’t like the GDP numbers? Change the rules …

Seems easy enough.  That way you can claim to be improving it even while nothing is actually improving in reality:

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced last week it would be changing the guidelines with which it calculates Gross Domestic Product, more familiarly known as the GDP, the standard by which the size and growth of the economy is measured.

The change comes after more than five years of economic stagnation that, despite frequent claims of a strengthening recovery, have seen high unemployment and extremely slight growth in the size of the economy.

GDP is calculated by adding up the total amount of private consumption, investment, government spending, and net exports. The new changes, which will include definitional changes to expand what is counted in GDP, are expected to add 3 percent to the GDP report, while not changing the actual output of the economy.

The agency claims the changes in calculation “more accurately portray the evolving U.S. economy and to provide for consistent comparisons with data for the economies of other nations.”

Note the emphasized text.  Realize that the addition of 3% to future GDP reports will be made without any explanation that a) there have been changes in the way it was calculate and b) in reality, the actual output of the economy has not changed at all.

But the administration will claim victory and the low information voters will buy it while the “no” information voters (those on the left who refuse to challenge anything put out by this administration) will crow about the “improvements” that the administration has brought to the economy.

Meanwhile the unemployment picture will remain the same (about 7.5%) until they can find a new way to calculate that and take about 3% off .  Then we’ll be officially “fixed”.