FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Turns out the national jobs picture may be a whole lot worse than we thought.
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The government may have underestimated job losses during the recession by close to one million jobs. That means instead of employers cutting about seven million jobs since December 2007 - that number could actually be eight million.
One expert calls this an "enormous understatement of the severity of the crisis" - which would qualify as an enormous understatement.
Here's what the Labor Department says happened: They release a revision of U.S. payrolls every year - using data that wasn't available as they calculated job losses month to month. Typically, the revisions don't amount to much - only a fraction of a percent of the total number of jobs.
But the year that ended last March was a brutal one on the economy, with the U.S. coming very close to another depression...
Economists say that during a time of such volatility... it's not a big surprise that there could be such a large discrepancy in the total number of jobs lost.
And it's not getting much better - at least not yet. This morning first time jobless claims came in much higher than expected - climbing to their highest level since mid-December. And economists are pessimistic about the January jobs report - which is due out tomorrow morning.
The national unemployment rate is expected to stay at 10 percent.
Here’s my question to you: How much do you trust the government's reporting of things like employment numbers?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Layne from Illinois writes:
Jack My dad, who was a high school Polisci teacher, taught me back in the early ‘60s how the government would play around with figures to their benefit, ESPECIALLY unemployment. This country has been spooked since the Great Depression about advertising unemployment numbers (we now know they were lying back then). The only outfit I listen to (with a grain of salt), is the General Accounting Office.
Nicholas from Green Bay, Wisconsin writes:
Jack, You have clearly put the seed of doubt into my mind. I don't believe that the government wants us to know how bad the employment situation really is. Would it cause panic to know that things are only getting worse? I think so. If government is being nourished by the breast milk of our tax dollars, then we deserve the truth.
I have studied the Dept. of Labor processes for many months and I am convinced that the data they collect is accurate, subject to sampling uncertainty of any survey process. I have written a number of articles with analysis of how the numbers could be better used in reporting the status of unemployment.
Ken from Dover, Delaware writes:
It appears that most voters believe anything the government tells them. That is why Wall Street and K Street continue to get everything they want at the expense of Main Street. The only things that have changed are the numbers on the debt clock and the numbers in the unemployment lines.
Curtis from Kansas writes:
Jack, I'm impressed: very few people can use the words 'trust' and 'government' in the same sentence with a straight face.