Show Me the Real Unemployment Rate
Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percent from April, according to the Department of Economic Development. The drop in unemployment can be attributed to a net gain of 4,900 new jobs in this state in May. This is a good sign, but how much does it really mean?
Considering the federal government hired 7,300 temporary census workers last month, it doesn’t mean much at all. In the private sector, Missouri actually lost jobs. Employment gains in leisure, hospitality, and “other” services experienced modest gains, but other sectors saw more substantial job losses. Construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, and educational and health services all experienced job losses in Missouri last month. Not counting the newly hired and temporary census workers, Missouri actually lost 2,400 jobs.
Furthermore, some Census workers have alleged that the bureau has engaged in repeated hiring and firing in order to intentionally inflate employment numbers. A personal friend of mine who recently worked as a Census taker in the St. Louis area claims to have filled out new hire paperwork and been retrained every time he finished a neighborhood. The training of a census employee takes three or four days, so taxpayers pick up the check for the “training” — with no actual benefit to the Census efforts — every time a worker is retrained. Ultimately, special interests affect every level of government.