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WaPo Random Act of Journalism: US Economy Lost 1.2 Million Jobs in July

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Want to go back to the unemployment numbers that came out Thursday and Friday. You know, the employment number went up to 8.3%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 163,000 new jobs were created. We used BLS numbers ourselves to show you how this isn't true. We talked about "seasonal adjustment." But a random act of journalism -- a stunning random act of journalism -- in the Washington Post yesterday in the Sunday paper.

They actually wrote (this was the headline): "Wait, the US Economy Actually Lost 1.2 Million Jobs in July? -- The US economy lost 1.2 million jobs between June and July. But that’s not how it got reported. When the Bureau of Labor [Technicalities] released its jobs figures for July, it said the economy gained 163,000 jobs. So what gives?" Well, they're not "hiding anything," as we pointed out last week. "The discrepancy just has to do with what's known as 'seasonal adjustments.'"

Now, you who are regular listeners are well aware of the seasonal adjustments in January and July being the two months, traditionally, where the BLS says the most jobs have been lost. But it's a guess. It's a wild guess. Even John Crudele writing in the New York Post said: Up 'til now, I knew the numbers were fudged. I mean up 'til now he knew they were playing games with the numbers, but not until last week's report did Crudele think that we were being lied to about it all for political purposes.

That's how egregious this report was. "The US economy follows certain predictable patterns in hiring and layoffs every year. School districts always let workers go for the summer and hire in the fall. Retailers always staff up for the Christmas holidays and lay people off afterwards. Students always flood the labor market in June. So if we want to know how well the economy is doing, we want to know how many jobs were added after taking these predictable fluctuations into account.

"Some seasonal adjustments are necessary..." Anyway, cut through all the gobbledygook here, and what you're left with is the guy (Brad Plumer) says, "Over the longer term, these fluctuations shouldn't matter much. Inaccurate seasonal adjustments might make some jobs reports look unduly pessimistic and others unduly optimistic. But they can’t mask," they cannot mask, "the overall health of the economy for too long. Eventually, the jobs reports balance out.

"So look at the long-term trends. For the past one-and-a-half years, the US economy has added about 152,000 jobs per month on average." Now, stick with me on this, because at the rate we're creating jobs... This was in the Washington Post on Sunday. It was in other places, too. The Washington Post reports: "[T]he US economy won’t get back to full employment until 2025 at this pace." That's Obama's Summer of Recovery, which was three years ago, and then last year. They didn't talk about it being the case this year. But...

(interruption) See? See? Right there. ESPN's on. They're showing the hit against the quarterback, and they're asking, "Is this the kind of hit that the Saints would have been penalized for under the bounty program?" It was a legal hit. The quarterback was taken out. They're asking, "Was anybody on the Saints paid for this hit?" I guarantee you. Folks, I know what I'm talking about here. And I'm gonna be the only one that believes it until it happens, and then everybody will forget that I was the first making the prediction.

"Well, Rush, where have you been on this?"

"Oh, yeah. I forgot."

I was only the first one to say it.

2025! This is awful, folks, this is literally awful. We won't get back to where we started in 2009 when Obama took office. Well, we won't get back to where we were before he took office in 2008-2007, until 2025, at this pace, and this rate's not gonna be maintained. It's gonna get worse! That's the really sad thing. Even the New York Times had a random act of journalism on Friday on their blog post on their website. They even said that these seasonal adjustments are wrong more than they're right, that they've been wrong 62% of the time.

We would have to add 280,000 jobs in each of the next three months for the unemployment rate to get below 8%. Which, by the way, the regime, from what I gather, was actually hoping would happen. They actually were hoping for that. The number is 7.2%. No incumbent president ever been reelected with an unemployment higher than 7.2%. What they needed was this number to get down to 7.9%. Once it gets to seven, then the 0.9, 0.8, wouldn't matter. They would just report the rate as "7%."

But now they know. We lost 1.2 million jobs in July! We did not add 163,000. At the rate we are going... That's the net. There mighta been 163,000 jobs filled, but that didn't end the story. And I only mention this because, like I said on Friday, these numbers represent real people. Real people and their lives. Real people. This is not a game. It's all reported on and talked about and analyzed -- in American politics, particularly Washington -- as a game.

Does it help Obama?

Does this help Romney?

Does this hurt Obama?

Does it hurt Romney?

What is this going to say for Obama's reelection?

What about the real people being affected here? If it were a Republican president, we'd have a never-ending trail of damaged lives: "People whose lives have been destroyed by the Republican economic policies." Now it's just a game. Just a game. It's sad because it isn't a game. It is real lives. Those 1.2 million jobs, that's a statistic. It's nothing more than a statistic. The individual tragedies behind that 1.2 million are never told, never humanized. Just... Gee.

"In news that is not pleasing for the Obama administration, which was hoping for a better report," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

END TRANSCRIPT

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