(NationalSentinel) Employment: The Obama administration took a lot of heat for essentially cherry-picking employment data, to make it appear as though the former president’s economic policies were working.
For instance, the administration was called out in a February 2015 column by Gallup boss Jim Clifton, who said the 5.6 percent unemployment figure (at the time) was “a big lie.” He wrote:
Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news…
There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
So what about the most recent employment data touted by the Trump administration – 235,000 jobs created during the president’s first full month in office? Are those real?
Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer assures us that they are.
“In the past, the president has referred to particular job reports as phony or totally fiction. Does the president believe that this jobs report was accurate and a fair way to measure the economy?” a reporter asked Spicer on Saturday, CNS News reported.
“Yeah, I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly. ‘They may have been phony in the past but it’s very real now,’” Spicer said.
Thus, we’re led to believe that President Trump isn’t into the same cherry-picking of employment data that prior administrations have done. But what has changed about the way the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics gauges employment, job creation, etc.?
When asked how much of the February jobs numbers that the president should be credited for and how he would “characterize the economy that President Trump was handed over by [former] President Obama,” Spicer said, “Look, numbers are going to go up and down. We recognize that, but I think there’s no question when you look at the CEOs that hire people, and the CEOs that have talked about how the investments that they want to make in America, you know you can look back over the several administrations. (RELATED: #MAGA: Job participation rate rising as construction starts gain most in a decade)
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“I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the number of CEOs and businesses come out and talk about investments and continuing investments and the expansion of investments or hiring based on the vision and agenda of an administration the way they have in this one, and so it’s not just a question of what we believe,” he said.
“I think if you look at the automakers, the other manufacturers, and frankly some of the service industries that have come out and talked about the investment that they’re gonna make or the continuation of a project that they had going or the movement of a manufacturing plant or job investment. Those speak for themselves. It’s not a question of what we believe,” Spicer said.
He also added that a so-called “Trump Bump” has added $3 billion in wealth to the stock market.
Time will tell, but Trump, as a billionaire businessman, operated with real numbers and real data because he had to. We’ll see if he brings that same economic realism into his administration.