In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.
Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.
And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.
“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.
Mr. Mulligan is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the author of “The Redistribution Recession” (Oxford, 2012).
The health-care law, starting Jan. 1, will begin driving up marginal tax rates—well above 50% for many.
A new wave of redistribution will arrive in America on Jan. 1, primarily thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The president’s health-insurance plan forces those who hire, work and produce to pay full price for health care, while creating generous discounts for practically everyone else.
…In the years 2015 and beyond, full-time workers with median incomes will keep only half of the compensation created by their decisions, with the other half going to the government in the form of additional taxes and savings on subsidy payments. By keeping 50% rather than 60%, workers will find that the reward for holding a job will have fallen a damaging 17%
“The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), “The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing – all these things.”
….The focus on trade and investment that President Barack Obama plans to bring to his second coming in Africa will be welcome both for the countries he is visiting this week – Senegal in the west, South Africa and Tanzania in the east – and for the US companies waking up to African economic potential.
In the past, a college degree all but assured job seekers employment and high earnings, but today, what you make depends on what you take. In Hard Times 2013, we show differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders. We show that STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — majors typically offer the best opportunities for employment and earnings, while unemployment is higher for graduates with non-technical degrees.
Here are some of our major findings:
1. Even as the housing bubble seems to be dissipating, unemployment rates for recent architecture graduates have remained high (12.8%). Graduate degrees and work experience did not shield these graduates from a sector-specific shock; graduates with experience in the field have the same jobless rates as the economy overall (9.3%)
2. Unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8%) or law and public policy (9.2%).
3. People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology. Unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7%) compared with mathematics (5.9%) and computer science (8.7%).
4. Unemployment rates are relatively low for recent graduates in education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%), health and the sciences (4.8%) because they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.
5. Graduates in psychology and social work also have relatively low rates (8.8%) because almost half of them work in healthcare or education sectors.
“The main results are of the first rank,” one of the referees wrote. The author had proved “a landmark theorem in the distribution of prime numbers.”
Rumors swept through the mathematics community that a great advance had been made by a researcher no one seemed to know — someone whose talents had been so overlooked after he earned his doctorate in 1992 that he had found it difficult to get an academic job, working for several years as an accountant and even in a Subway sandwich shop.
“Basically, no one knows him,” said Andrew Granville, a number theorist at the Université de Montréal. “Now, suddenly, he has proved one of the great results in the history of number theory.”
Mathematicians at Harvard University hastily arranged for Zhang to present his work to a packed audience there on May 13. As details of his work have emerged, it has become clear that Zhang achieved his result not via a radically new approach to the problem, but by applying existing methods with great perseverance.
“The big experts in the field had already tried to make this approach work,” Granville said. “He’s not a known expert, but he succeeded where all the experts had failed.”
As best scientists can tell, lobsters age so gracefully they show no measurable signs of aging: no loss of appetite, no change in metabolism, no loss of reproductive urge or ability, no decline in strength or health. Lobsters, when they die, seem to die from external causes.
There is exciting news out of the Green Mountain State this week: folks in Vermont are so fed up with patent troll abuse that they are taking matters into their own hands. With trolls filing thousands of lawsuits every year and blanketing the country in threat letters, states are looking for ways to protect victims—especially small entities that lack the resources to defend against a patent suit. Vermont is tackling trolls on two separate fronts…
In a previous article, I detailed how the number of new businesses (and the number of jobs those businesses create) has been steadily declining. In particular, this decline has accelerated dramatically under the Obama administration. According to an analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data performed by economist Tim Kane, the following is how the decline in the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
Is that a good trend or a bad trend?
It doesn’t take an advanced degree in economics to figure out where things are going.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently warned that sequestration would cause “suspension of important activities, curtailed training, and could result in furloughs of civilian personnel” but the spending cuts haven’t killed the green fuels program, as the Pentagon has continued purchasing renewable fuel at $59 per gallon.
Somewhere between a fifth to a third of the million students graduating out of India’s engineering colleges run the risk of being unemployed. Others will take jobs well below their technical qualifications in a market where there are few jobs for India’s overflowing technical talent pool. Beset by a flood of institutes (offering a varying degree of education) and a shrinking market for their skills, India’s engineers are struggling to subsist in an extremely challenging market.
China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Securityreports that 6.99 million students will graduate from institutions of higher learning in the country this year. That’s the biggest class in the history of China, 190,000 more than in 2012.
Chinese leaders aren’t smiling, however. There are not nearly enough jobs for all the fresh-faced talent, and the lack of opportunity reveals much about China’s faltering economy.