Rasmus on the attack again

The irrepressible Jack Rasmus, who has never demonstrated any real understanding of how economic statistics are constructed, has a new post claiming that the “real” unemployment rate is more like 10–12% than the officially reported 3.7%. He has a point, even if it’s somewhat overstated. The government’s own broad unemployment rate, U-6, was 7.2% in August, nearly twice the headline rate, though short of the Rasmus rate. (See table A-15 here.) One of the ways the government undercounts the unemployed, says Rasmus, is that the monthly survey “misses a lot of workers… Read More

Responding to Rasmus’s response

Jack Rasmus is out with a response to my critique of his analysis of the April U.S. employment numbers. Enlightening Rasmus looks to be a hopeless case, but since there are may be some onlookers who wonder what’s up, here are a few comments. As with yesterday’s post, his comments are quoted and italicized (though the formatting doesn’t show up on an iPhone unless you choose the desktop version—sorry!). What is significant is that Henwood thinks the CES (Current Employment Survey) is more important and accurate than the CPS (Current Population Survey)…. Read More

Misreading the latest jobs numbers

Z Communications’ resident statistician Jack Rasmus is out with some fresh disinformation about the economic news. It’s been a while since I took his nonsense apart, so this seems like a good opportunity, since his latest looks to be making the rounds. The problems start in the first paragraph (Rasmus is in quoted italics, my comments in Roman.) The just released report on April jobs on first appearance, heavily reported by the media, shows a record low 3.6% unemployment rate and another month of 263,000 new jobs created. But there are two… Read More

Rasmus: my last word

The previous post is Jack Rasmus’ return of fire. Here’s my last word. Rasmus: “YOU REFERENCE ‘IP PRODUCT’ (COPYRIGHTS, MOVIES, ETC.) AS “THE MAJOR CONCEPTUAL CHANGE” IN THE REVISIONS, PROVIDING ONLY MINOR BOOSTS TO GDP.  BUT THAT’S NOT CORRECT.  IP PRODUCT RELATED CHANGES ONLY ADDED 0.5% OF THE 3.6% IN 2012 UPWARD REVISIONS.  AGAIN, THE BIGGEST FACTOR WAS ‘R&D EXPENSING’, NOT IP PRODUCT INCLUSION.” R&D is part of the new category, “IP Product.” Is it really too much to expect a self-identified “professor of political economy” (though I hear he’s actually nothing of… Read More

Response to Rasmus

Here’s my response to Jack Rasmus’ complaint about my fact-checking him (“GDP revisions: not a conspiracy, Jack”). His words are in purple italics; mine, in normal type. GDP for 2012, as I pointed out in my prior article, ‘Economic Recovery by Statistical Manipulation’, was raised by almost 33% as a result of the BEA revisions–from the 2.1% annual growth to 2.8%. GDP wasn’t revised up by almost 33%—it was more like a tenth that. Rasmus means that the growth rate was revised up by 33% (no almost about it). It’s a minor error, but… Read More

GDP revisions: not a conspiracy, Jack

The irrepressible Jack Rasmus, who never tires of displaying his ignorance, has a piece up on Counterpunch (“Economic Recovery by Statistical Manipulation”) on the recent revisions to the U.S. national income and product accounts (NIPAs). No doubt speaking for legions of paranoids, left and otherwise, Rasmus describes the revisions as yet another politically driven scheme to make the economy look better than it is—“rewrit[ing] the numbers to make the failure ‘go away.‘” They’re not, and they don’t. Like almost all economic stats, the national income numbers—GDP and its supporting cast—are revised frequently… Read More