Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Watching Employment, And Scratching My Head

The unemployment rates came out yesterday.  Faithful to my commitment to watch employment, not unemployment, I'm scratching my head.  According to the labor stats people, Licking County's employment dropped. 

Though the number of employed in Licking County is still, net, up 2,100 people for the year, its the fact that the number of employed is down 1,100 from August that has me scratching my head.

Oh yeah, add the fact that the unemployment rate, at 8.8%, is the lowest for the year only adds to the confusion.

I thought about getting some formal explanation.   I'm sure I'd hear that the workforce size shrunk due to an adjustment for the month.  Admittedly, the numbers are based on surveys and a month-to-month change is hardly a trend.

I can also see some political theorists guessing that someone is cooking the books insomuch that unemployment rates went down just days before election day even though the employment numbers went down.

I've heard so many positive, anecdotal stories of hiring going up that I could offer an explanation that shows employment is actually up.  That would sound like spin though.

In the end, no explanation is worth finding.

I'm going to keep watching employment and hoping October numbers reflect what I feel in my gut is the case and that is that we are, indeed, recovering from this Great Recession and that employment is recovering too.

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