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Monday, August 06, 2012 12:26 AM

Four Different Viewpoints on Employment; Reflections on Biased Reporting

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The latest jobs report showing a Gain of 163,000 on the Establishment Survey, But a Loss of 195,000 Jobs on the Household Survey got me to thinking about trends in employment.

Much depends on your frame of reference. I can easily make numbers look good or bad, depending on how I want to present them.

click on any chart for sharper image

Civilian Employment Since 2011 

That certainly looks quite robust, but is that the real sustainable trend?
Here is another view.

Civilian Employment Since 2007

Which trendline is correct?

Civilian Employment Since 2007 - Different Perspective

If I want to emphasize how poor the recovery has been, I just might use the above view.

Notice that actual employment in 2008 was over 146 million. Employment fell to 138 million and has only taken back half of previous losses, making this the worst recovery on record.

Civilian Employment Since 2011  

Returning to the first chart, I just may want to emphasize that a trend change may be in the works.

Indeed, I do think that is the case based on collapsing new orders. I have made the case numerous times.

Reflections on Biased Reporting

The point of this post is not about trend changes, it is about presentation.

I interpret the news and that introduces bias.

Indeed, any commentary whatsoever about the news, by anyone, anywhere, anytime, introduces bias (intentional or not). The only way to not introduce bias is to present data with no comments, no trendlines, and no anecdotes.

Who would read Calculated Risk, Big Picture, Zero Hedge, Naked Capitalism, Automatic Earth, Acting Man, Advisor Perspectives, Chris Martenson, or any other site if they did not offer opinions?

What a dull blogging world it would be without opinions.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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