Reporting Altered Numbers to Sway Public Opinion
On February 4th, 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Non-Farm Payroll number, and it was a surprise to the financial markets, exceeding everyone’s expectations.
The following week, despite dozens of pundits such as myself, the jobs number as being great. Unfortunately, the number which was reported is altered using what the BLS calls a “seasonal adjustment”. Using this seasonal adjustment, we were told that the US Economy added 467,000 jobs, despite the effects of Omicron.
Here are just a few of the headlines that you will find when searching for this report:
Surprisingly strong jobs report: America adds 467,000 positions in January
And yet the real number of jobs is so far from what has been reported that it should be considered an outright lie.
The magic of “seasonal adjustments” has taken a real negative number and turned it into something positive for the media to report. Just how much magic?
The real jobs number was a loss of 2,824,000 jobs. The US economy lost nearly three million jobs in January 2022 and yet the headlines are entirely different.
In January 2022, the US had 147,525,000 people working. That is -2,824,000 from the previous month.
You are being manipulated.
Even the term “seasonal adjustment” is a flat out lie. If they were, you should be able to expect that the same seasonal factors would apply to both January AND February as they are the same season.
Each month is adjusted in a different manner and in a way that no one knows what that adjustment will be.
And it changes from year to year.
What’s the objective?
These seasonal adjustments keep the real truth from the American people. But businesses cannot use that number to plan for expanding their business for it is wrong and misleading.
Too much emphasis has been placed on the monthly release of the NFP Payroll number in the first place. And now that the lie of jobs gains for January has been repeated to the Nth degree and everyone seems to accept it as real and positive, it is simply a lie.
Why not just tell the truth?