A Belated Employment Report and President Bush’s Reaction

It’s late Friday and CalculatedRisk has the headline news and more:

U.S. nonfarm payrolls climbed by 51,000 in September, after a revised 188,000 gain in August, and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.6% in September from 4.7% in August.

Employment per the payroll survey is up by only 51 thousand and the unemployment rate fell? Let’s check out the BLS report for the household survey. It seems the household survey says employment rose by 271 thousand whereas the labor force rose by 101 thousand. Taking this to two decimal points, it seems the employment to population rose inched up from 63.09% to 63.14%, while the labor force participation rate inched down from 66.20% to 66.17%. Aha – some news for George Bush to crow about:

Secretary Paulson and I want to thank FedEx for inviting us here today to have a discussion about our economy and about entrepreneurship. We just met with a handful of small business owners, business creators, people who had an innovative idea, followed up on their idea and have now built healthy little businesses that are growing and employing people. I don’t necessarily want to speak for the Secretary, but I will tell you that it does my spirits good to be able to talk to risk-takers and dreamers and doers … I say that because today we got more good news. The national unemployment rate is down to 4.6 percent. We added 6.6 million new jobs since August of 2003. The wages are going up, energy prices are falling, which means people are going to have more money in their pocket to save, invest, or spend. And the fundamental question is, how do we make sure we sustain the economic growth? And one way to do so is to make the tax cuts we passed permanent. One sure way to hurt this economy is to take money out of the pockets of consumers, or small business owners, and send it to Washington, D.C.

I wonder if this President really does believe that nonsense about the difference between the household survey and the payroll survey being some sort of self-employment surge? He certainly does want to babble on about all sorts of other nonsense (e.g.., wages up and permanent tax cuts).

That’s my excuse for being so tardy today – I had to wait to see what kind of garbage we’d get from the President!