NEW YORK CITY-Maybe it’s just the reaction to a tensely charged political season. Or it could be a general crankiness after years of recession. Or it could just be an accurate assessment of the numbers at hand. Whatever the motivator, GlobeSt.com readers give thumbs down to the accuracy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment figures.
As GlobeSt.com reported today, the Bureau has announced 171,000 jobs were added to the US economy in October, leaving the unemployment rate essentially unchanged at 7.9%. The announcement is the last before next week’s presidential election and sure to provide talking points for both camps.
October’s rate was slightly better than the 157,000 jobs per month added, on average, in 2012 and better than the 153,000 added in 2011. Professional and business services, health care, and retail trade were among the categories that saw job growth.
But last month’s report, which brought the unemployment figure below 8%–and became a political football for both Romney and Obama camps—met with raised eyebrows on the part of some 342 GlobeSt.com readers who responded to a poll on the subject.
In fact, 38% said the numbers were “Cooked for Political Purposes.” As large a percentage as that was, it wasn’t the leading response. That honor went to the 44% who believe the stats “Don’t Give a Fair Picture of Joblessness” in the US, an answer devoid of implications of a political agenda.
Only 14% believe that the stats “Accurately Reflect the Recovery.” Four percent of our respondents never heed the numbers, voting that they “Never Pay Attention to Them.”