That was interesting - just got a call from library of LargeLocallyBasedCorp(tm) asking whether I knew of more accurate projections of future employment numbers than those recently put forth by President Obama's administration. There is an actual answer to this in that because projections are fueled by assumptions, if you look in detail at existing data you may be able to make a case for different assumptions and therefore different projections. But, you know, minus time travel, you can't know for sure if you're right.
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- Sounds complicated!Jul 12, 2011
- Well, I think the real question was this: "The heads of my company don't like the employment projections released by President Obama's administration, therefore they believe that the information also incorrect. Where can they find numbers to support that conclusion?"
There are some issues with official unemployment numbers - the universe of people they count is limited in many ways. There have been alternate estimates of unemployment that take this into account and those estimates show much, much, much higher unemployment. However, I don't know that those folks do projections and they, like everyone else, have an ideological axe to grind.
Finally - and what I suggested was probably the least ideological approach - was to look at where in the economy jobs are being lost. The most recent data show it's in government. Given the condition of most state and local governments, this probably won't change in the immediate future. So, if losses in government positions exceed increases in the private sector, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what the future holds. Odds are that the current administration will try to slide past this since its very much in their interest to see overall increases in employment.Jul 12, 2011