From Prof. DeLong:
July was a poor month for job creation in the United States.
July was an excellent month for job creation in the United States.
That tale of two employment reports is true, and it continues a trend that has persisted for two and a half years. The discrepancies have made it possible for Republicans to herald a job recovery and for Democrats to deny one exists. . . .Which is right? Because of its smaller sample size, the household survey is always more volatile, and month-to-month changes can be deceptive for that reason. So economists normally pay more attention to the establishment survey. But the fact that they differ so drastically may mean that reality lies somewhere in between. . .
DeLong explains why this is hackery -
A lot of smart people have been looking at the difference between the household and the payroll surveys, and have come to firm conclusions. Let me turn over the microphone to Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan to tell us what those conclusions are:
Greenspan Testimony February 11, 2004: 'I wish I could say the household survey were the more accurate,' Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman, said in congressional testimony on Feb. 11. 'Everything we've looked at suggests that it's the payroll data which are the series which you have to follow.'... The Fed's conclusion was that the household survey's results had been inflated by overestimates of population growth.... If the population estimate is too high, the estimated number of jobs will also be too high.. . . "
Good stuff, but what Prof. Delong may be missing is the WHY Norris did this. Is he just ignorant? I think not. Read what he wrote the day before -
WHEN the July employment numbers are released today, the Bush administration will hail them as proof that the economy is doing well, and it will have a point. But despite rapid job growth this year, many Americans continue to believe there is a job crisis.
So Norris has egg all over his face. But he doesn't want to admit it. So, to cover up, he makes this new "controversy" up. Sometimes it's just the human desire to not look foolish.
And that makes Norris even MORE of a hack. Cuz he KNOWS he's wrong. Disgusting.