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Fuzzy (Jobs) Math

This bit from Bethany McLean’s Street Life column yesterday was just too good not to pluck out for the FC blog:

“Do you believe the job statistics? Texas Hedge Report, one of my favorite publications, writes that they believe those stats ‘are possibly being manipulated for political reasons’ by an arcane figure known as the ‘Birth/Death Model adjustment.’ This adjustment is meant to reflect the birth and death of business establishments, and from April 2003 through January 2004, the net job creation from the Birth/Death Model estimation was just 374,000 jobs in a span of ten months, or about 37,400 jobs a month. But between February and June of 2004, the Birth/Death Model estimation (I get a kick just out of writing that) has ‘magically created 915,000 jobs—goosing job creation from the model to 183,000 jobs a month…. What is scary is that last month’s total job creation was only 112,000—meaning that if not for the Birth/Death adjustments, we would’ve LOST 80,000 jobs in June!’ reports Texas Hedge.”