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Job Loss for February Much Higher than 63,000

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This one particularly got my ire:

Front Page: 25,000 jobs expected to be created in February

Back section: 63,000 jobs lost in February.

63,000 jobs lost brought the Dow Jones down to the 11,800 level. What would it have been had they seen the real numbers. As bad as this is, and it is what is reported throughout the media, it is not the 'real' number.

I worked for a State government for a while as a researcher/planner.  One of my areas was in workforce retention so I spent a good deal of time watching the income and outgo of employees in various categories.

Now, my math is pretty good, though admittedly simple. That is to say that I squeezed somehow through statistics in my undergraduate degree and was thrilled that it wasn't necessary for my Masters. I can count without using my fingers and toes but don't really understand high-level statistical schmoozing and machinations.

So, when I would see that 60% of a certain position tended, year after year, to leave their employment after less than 6 months, I would write a report to the powers that be. In my simplistic mind, patterns are patterns and percentages are percentages. By the time the reports were 'fine-tuned' by the powers that be, all problems disappeared and life was good. I expect it wasn't so good for those folks who left a decent paying State job for unknown reasons and I still can't believe it was good for the various departments who depended on those workers.

Like I said, I'm educated but basically simple. If we really didn't need those employees, why continue hiring them and losing them year after year?  If we really did need that job class, why didn't we find out why they left and try to change things? I left there eventually – it wasn't worth the cognitive dissonance. 

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Now I am far removed from that environment but occasionally some numbers come across my computer search that just don't make sense and I foolishly look further into them. Such it was on Friday, March 7th with the federal Jobs Report that tanked the Dow Jones: 63,000 jobs lost in the Economy! Dow heads down into the 11,000's!

What kind of jobs were lost, I wondered? As the initial report was on the internet, I decided to take a gander at it. Big Mistake! Déjà vu – I was mentally back in my old, discarded job.

Here are the numbers that they report.  You can go there yourself and check it out at page 2 & 3 of http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm 

Jobs Lost, February 2008

Manufacturing                  -52,000

Construction                     -39,000

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Retail Trade                      -34,000

Wholesale Trade               -9,000

Temp Empl Svcs               -28,000

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Christopher is a retired Mayflower family, Navy Vet, flower child, Mensan and a long-time rural Alaskan with a lifetime or two in Social Sciences and cross-cultural endeavors. He has a terminal graduate degree and is heading into his terminal years (more...)
 

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