So who’s cooking the books?

On Oct. 10, the newspaper published an article, on page D5, “Middle class financial woes increasing.”

The article carried a Los Angeles Times byline and was based on a Consumer Reports study. Of specific interest is the statement “Consumer Reports found that the economy has lost more jobs than it’s created for the past two months.”

Let’s see now, this is October, so my best guess is that the “last two months” were August and September. I also would note that the use of the word “for” in the quotation indicates that the statement applies to each of the last two months.

On the other side, we have the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent in October, down from a rate of 8.1 percent in September.

I have difficulty understanding what kind of mathematics supports a reduction in unemployment (especially as high as 0.3 percent) when more jobs were lost than created.

Charles C. Packard


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