“Well, now that we have seen each other,” said the unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.” – Lewis Carroll, “Through The Looking Glass”
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” – Keyser Söze, “The Usual Suspects”
The employment report is a complete fraud. But as long as the market and it’s army of mainstream story-tellers focus just on the headline number, unicorns do exist. But the Devil is in the details:
However, there was also a large number of workers who were classified as employed but absent from work. As was the case in March and April, household survey interviewers were instructed to classify employed persons absent from work due to coronavirus-related business closures as unemployed on temporary layoff. However, it is apparent that not all such workers were so classified. BLS and the Census Bureau are investigating why this misclassification error continues to occur and are taking additional steps to address the issue.
If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to “other reasons” (over and above the number absent for other reasons in a typical May) had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported (on a not seasonally adjusted basis). However, according to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.
Here’s the source link from the BLS report, scroll to the bottom: No B.S. Like The BLS
This is before looking at the actual line item data estimates (more like guesstimates) in the Household and Establishment data. Most of the numbers in the line items for each industry are simply not credible. As a colleague points out, “this is the same shit that happened before the November 2012 Presidential election when jobs growth was egregiously overstated and then revised lower over the next several months.”
Beyond that, there’s not much to say about this report. The numbers as presented are astonishingly implausible. It’s an insult to everyone’s intelligence for the Government and the main stream reporters and analysts to think that anyone with two brain cells to rub together would find this report believable. Ultimately, this attempt by Trump to stuff the ballot boxes early in the election cycle will back-fire – badly.