I just finished a maddening, circular discussion with my friend Drew regarding the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment numbers. Regular readers know that I take issue with the way my friend argues a point. For one, he posts on a personal journal page that provides no avenue for rebuttal, and that I think he is intellectually dishonest in his arguments, relentlessly panning for the anti-American, anti-Bush-Rove-Ashcroft nugget. Regarding unemployment, he posits that since the BLS changed its methodology 8 months ago, something he calls the CNES Birth-Death model, the vast majority of new jobs being created are not comparable to past, pre-change numbers. Effectively, he believes that the recent positive jobs numbers are an anomaly. I think that argument is without merit, because we should have seen an immediate aberration 8 months ago if the model alone was responsible for the numbers. He claims that the BLS phased in the implementation of the model. I am throwing this out to you, since I am sure there is a labor statistician out there somewhere. Is it at all plausible that this change in calculation method could have been:
1. Implemented by a phased in approach?
2. Solely responsible for the improving employment numbers?
3. Not picked and drilled by the Democrats and Kerry’s economic advisor as a sham?
I may be completely off-base here, but I am willing to take my lumps if that is so. I await your responses.
Update: Upon further research, I found it’s the CES Birth/Death model.