Monday, November 7, 2011

The 40,000 Jobs Lie

The rhetoric coming out of Madison from the hallways of the right make the claim that everything they are doing is working. Scott Walker and the boys have been floating an interesting talking point designed to be repeated over and over again until it becomes regardless of truth due to sheer repetition.
"During the first six months, the private sector in Wisconsin created nearly 40,000 new jobs."
If only that were really true, Scott Walker and his posse of bandits wouldn't be looking down the barrel of a recall...well maybe they still would - but actual job creation would make a lot of people who don't really want to give up their entire holiday season recalling his ass think twice.

Vossy alluded to this same talking point in his delusional and smug commentary last week and you'll be hearing the 40,000 jobs lie more and more. It's a lie and not in just one sense, it's a lie in two different ways.

Cherry-picking Jobs Statistics
Paul Tascoupe over at Politiscoop did a great breakdown and it goes like this...
There are two distinct private sector surveys jobs numbers can come from. One is the CES survey - the establishment or payroll survey. This is the one Scott Walker likes. It measures the number of employees on employer payrolls. The other is the CPS survey - the performance survey. This measures households of employed people.

What's the difference? A CES number equals one employee as one job regardless if  is full-time or part-time, long-term or temporary. It does not measure pay and most importantly - it does not reflect people who have more than one job. The CPS number asks households how many people are employed and also how many jobs they are juggling to make ends meet.

That might not sound like a big difference but the CPS number actually cuts Walker's jobs number in half right off the bat. Walker counts your jobs at Burger King and as a summer lifeguard as two private sector jobs even though summer camp is over and you're trying to pay your bills on a fast-food, part-time job.

Not job creation of the highest order, but it is creative cherry-picking.

What happened in the second six months?
Drawing a line in job creation at a particular time and then ignoring what comes next is a great way to skew the overall picture without outright lying. It's sorta like saying "I won $500 at the casino last night!" An achievement for sure, but only if you don't reveal you spent $1000 overall.

Walker is claiming he created 40,000 new jobs at Ho Chunk. If he cashed out before September he might be telling the truth, but we all know he didn't and that's when he lost the nest egg.

From Chris at Political Heat we can see what the jobs number do after-hours:


That's not good. What's worse is that when you look at - once again - people who actually have jobs, nothing has changed at all. Here is what that looks like:


Check out the numbers from January to September. Except for a blip over the summer of temporary and low wage jobs that have now evaporated - nothing has changed.

Editing statistics is nothing new and there is no doubt everyone does it. However with one in five people now living below the poverty line, these numbers as any indication of good policy and provable solutions are kinda important.

Of all the cynical and self-serving actions perpetrated by Scott Walker and Robin Vos, this fake acclaim they are selling may be the worst.