JOB GROWTH REVISITED….Brad DeLong, demonstrating once again why he’s an economist and I’m not, explains that the latest job growth figures from the White House are actually more peculiar than I suggested this morning.
In particular, the White House is projecting that non-farm payrolls will rise from 130.1 million at the end of 2003 to an average of
132.7 131.9 million for 2004. To me (and to Reuters) that sounded like an increase of 2.6 1.8 million, but Brad notes that to get an average of 132.7 131.9 million jobs we need to end the year at about 135.3 133.6 million This is, to put it mildly, extremely unlikely.
Here is Brad’s first post, after which he shakes his head, does a bit of Googling to convince himself that this is really what the White House said, and then explains why this number is, um, unlikely. Then, still bemused by the whole thing, he takes to the keyboard yet again and speculates about how the Bushies pulled this number out of their collective hat.
After that, presumably, his head imploded.
UPDATE: Numbers updated because Brad changed his mind for reasons that are not 100% clear to me. These lowered numbers are, perhaps, no longer extremely unlikely but merely very unlikely.