Month: August 2012

Unemployment reporting is bogus: Losing fewer jobs equals a gain, right?

Bogus unemployment reporting Seasonal adjustments may be erroneously calculated Unemploymentreporting is always big news. This article calls into question the seasonal adjustments that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics makes to the monthly jobs report. If those adjustments are incorrectly made, then the report — which is a monthly myopic view of the economy — is not terribly useful. Even worse, the entire scheme of unemployment reporting seems bogus to me. And, right now, for the past one-and-a-half years, the U.S. economy has added about 152,000 jobs per month on average. It’s a tepid pace: According to the Hamilton Project’s jobs calculator, the U.S. economy won’t get back to full employment until 2025 at this pace. But it’s better to pay attention to the long-term average than fixate on any monthly jobs report. via Wait, the U.S. economy actually lost 1.2 million jobs in July?. Unemployment reporting omits a key statistic Here is where the unemployment reporting becomes bogus. Seasonal adjustments are not the scariest part of the unemployment reporting problem. Just take a look at all the measurements, only one of which is typically reported, and focus on the “U6” line in the table that for July 2012 shows an unemployment rate of 15.0 percent. I just love the euphemistic title of Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization. Labor underutilization? Yes, I guess if you don’t have a...

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Getting to know my cat

There is a new cat at my house. I really don’t usually like cats very much but this one is different. It’s sort of a 3-legged cat — Catrike, that is — the now-almost-famous three-wheeled recumbent cycle that has replaced the “normal” bike that carried me for 2800 wonderful miles last year. So yes, that’s correct:  I am an adult and I ride a tricycle. Mine is the Catrike Expedition. All about the three-wheeled recumbent cycle I keep calling it my 3-wheeled BIcycle but, of course, that doesn’t gee-haw. And what the heck is a recumbent bike, anyway? Some folks, before they learn about these things or see one in action, the recumbent is often associated with a physical disability need. They can be ridden by persons who for any reason cannot position upon or balance an upright, but there’s more. In fact, the speed record is 82.82 mph on a recumbent. So what is a three-wheeled recumbent cycle? Rolling lounge chair? Pedal-powered gocart? Street luge? Yep, it’s all of those. There are two styles, the “tadpole” configuration with two wheels in front and the “delta” with the two wheels in the rear. The “tadpole” moniker refers to the slight wiggle the machine makes while pedaling. The trike is fast and fun and I can explain it no better than does a page at Utah Trikes, a well-known dealer in trikes....

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