Tag: Current population survey (US)

The White House Takes Its Attacks On Jobs Data To A New (And Dangerous) Level

The White House Takes Its Attacks On Jobs Data To A New (And Dangerous) Level

President Trump’s budget director on Sunday accused the Obama administration of “manipulating” economic data to make the unemployment rate look lower than it really was.
“We’ve thought for a long time, I did, that the Obama administration was manipulating the numbers, in terms of the number of people in the workforce, to make the unemployment rate — that percentage rate — look smaller than it actually was,” Mick Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, told CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview Sunday.
Mulvaney isn’t the first member of the Trump administration to question the validity of the unemployment rate.
(When pressed by Tapper, Mulvaney acknowledged that he didn’t think the Bureau of Labor Statistics had changed the way it collected jobs data since Trump took office.)
What makes Mulvaney’s more explicit accusation so dangerous is that it could undermine the public’s (already shaky) confidence in government statistics.
The best-known and most timely data comes from a pair of monthly surveys: one of employers (Current Employment Statistics, or the “establishment survey”) and one of households (the Current Population Survey).
As it happens, in 2014 the Census Bureau’s Office of the Inspector General investigated an alleged case of political interference in the Current Population Survey and found no evidence to support the claim.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases numerous other measures — the labor force participation rate, the employment-population ratio and multiple alternative versions of the unemployment rate, among others — that do account for people who stop looking for work.
Many of those statistics are cited by the same conspiracy theorists who accuse Obama of cooking the jobs numbers.
There is a long-running and entirely legitimate debate among economists about the best way to measure the health of the job market.

This Year’s College Grads Are The Luckiest In A Decade

This Year’s College Grads Are The Luckiest In A Decade

New graduates’ wages are rising faster than those of most other groups; the typical recent college graduate earned $13 an hour in the first three months of this year, up 50 cents an hour from a year earlier.
Those who did find jobs were often stuck working part-time or in low-wage positions that didn’t require a college degree.
Worse, the slow improvement of the labor market meant many young graduates remained underemployed for years; research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has found that the underemployment rate among recent graduates has only recently begun to improve.
The typical recession-era graduate with a full-time job — one of the lucky few, in other words — earned approximately $7,000 less in the first six years of work than someone who graduated just a few years earlier.2 This is a rough estimate.
The Current Population Survey doesn’t ask respondents the year they graduated, so instead I identified three cohorts of college graduates: those who were age 21 to 24 in 2005 (and therefore graduated before the recession began), those who were 21 to 24 in 2009 (meaning most of them graduated during the recession) and those who were in that age range in 2012 (and thus graduated after the recession and its immediate aftermath had ended).
Americans who graduated in the recession earned as much in 2015 as their older peers did at an equivalent point in their careers (albeit in part because for the older group, those years were during the recession).
Those who graduated a few years after the recession ended are earning as much, adjusted for inflation, as those who graduated before the downturn began.
Oh, right, the debt One more note on the class of 2016: It’s a good thing they’ll have jobs, because they’ll also have a record amount of student debt.
(That figure is the average among those who borrowed, as seven out of 10 did.)
A separate analysis from the Brookings Institution this week showed that college graduates with debt still have a much higher homeownership rate than young people without college degrees.