Minnesota Loses 11,600 Jobs, Unemployment Goes Down, Math Stops Making Sense

According to the Star Tribune the State of Minnesota lost 11,600 jobs last month but, somehow, unemployment went down:

Minnesota’s job market posted its second straight negative month, shedding 11,400 jobs in April, the state said Thursday.

The biggest job losses were in trade, transportation and utilities, which shed 5,700 jobs, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent in April, its lowest point since May 2008 and well below the U.S. rate of 7.5 percent in April. The March figures were revised upward from 5,200 jobs lost to 3,300 jobs lost.

One may wonder how an economy could lose jobs and experience a drop in unemployment. Logic would dictate that unemployment would go up as the number of people without jobs also went up. What we’re seeing here is another example of the state cooking the books in order to make unemployment look better than it actually is. I’ve touched on how the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses what is called the U3 unemployment statistic in order to make unemployment look better than it actually is. Another trick often used by statist statisticians, such as the ones employed by the State of Minnesota, is seasonal adjustments.

Seasonal adjustments, as the name implies, involves removing drops in unemployment caused by seasonal changes from the official statistic. The theory goes something like this:

  1. During certain seasons there is a spike in employment during the rush to hire needed seasonal help. Christmas, for example, generally involves a spike in employment as stores try to have enough staff to deal with the Christmas season rush.
  2. After these seasons conclude stores, who no longer need the additional help, can the seasonal employees.
  3. Since this is seasonal it can be safely ignored when creating unemployment statistics because those employees aren’t actually unemployed, they’re, err, um, look over there!
  4. Prosperity!

In other words if your unemployment statistic is looking bad you merely have to write off a large section of unemployed people as a seasonal phenomenon and your unemployment statistic will suddenly look better! Further adding precedence to this scam is the fact that there are multiple seasonal adjustment calculations to choose from! If one of the calculations isn’t giving you the statistic you want you can simply use a different one. Eventually you’ll find a calculation that will give you the statistic you desire.

War is peace, freedom is slavery, and unemployment is employment.