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November 16, 2003

(More) GOP Lies on Jobs

The Center for American Progress scathingly dissects this Heritage Foundation claim that Bush created 1 million jobs in the last year.

Say what? How does that square with the general consensus that Bush has seen a loss of 2.7 million jobs, with maybe a few hundred thousand of that clawed back in the last couple of months?

First, for folks who have paid attention to the jobs debate, you'll know there's a big discrepancy between the more widely used payroll data, the numbers you usually see cited, versus the "household survey", basically a large telephone poll, that is considered less accurate. Heritage used the less favored household survey stats.

But heck, citing a different statistic isn't really a lie by the Heritage Foundation.

However, deliberately misusing the household survey data is. As the Center notes:

According to Lee Price of the Economic Policy Institute , Heritage went one step further and actually manipulated the household data survey to further inflate their numbers. In January 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau made a technical change which artificially added 576,000 jobs to the household survey. As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics warns that household survey data on "employment and unemployment levels for January 2003 (and beyond) are not strictly comparable with those for earlier months." Long story short: When Heritage compared employment numbers from October 2002 to October 2003, they improperly added 576,000 jobs.
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

And then there is the Heritage Foundation, creating its own category of statistical deceit.

Posted by Nathan at November 16, 2003 08:17 PM