Friday, June 21, 2013

New Math Anyone? – Massachusetts Unemployment Rate – Raises – State Gains 3500 Jobs, Additional 9,000 Added to Unemployment – the Numbers.

Perhaps going back to basics may not hurt - image from

The State of Massachusetts announced the May jobs numbers with a bit of optimism - According to the Boston Globe, the good news is that, as there have been no jobs created in the state for 4 reporting months, there were 3500 jobs created in May! - However, when one considers that an additional 9,000 began to look for work, or “resume” looking for work, one would consider that a net loss .

What’s more, when looking at the reporting from the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance, the news looks less and less upbeat: Out of the projected working age population of 5,376,900 in Massachusetts, of those, 3,481,700 are in the Labor Force, yet, strangely enough, of that number, 3,251,200 are actually employed, the balance – out of luck, or the number given as unemployed: 230,500 – which, somehow does not make sense. If one uses a simple calculator and one takes the working age population of 5,376,900 and deducts those who are actually employed or 3,251,200 - one has a number of those that are unemployed of 2,125,700 . Of course, some of those may be stay at home moms, or dads, or teens, or early retirees, but given the simplicity of the reporting, it leaves little to suggest that the 230,500 figure is in error.

As the State of Massachusetts receives its data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one is stymied in trying to determine which department needs remedial basic math courses – or if one is trying to fudge numbers so that everything appears rosy, one might want to keep two sets of books, showing the public with fewer working age individuals, for example, in relationship to those actually employed would account for the loss of several million unemployed.

It’s Massachusetts, go figure.

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