Jiggering the unemployment statistics?
Here's an interesting story from Knoxville, TN. Quoted in its entirety:
As reported previously at KnoxViews, the City of Maryville June, 2009 unemployement rate of 20.4% was the highest city unemployement rate reported.
The State of Tennessee July, 2009 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Maryville dropped to 19.6%.
It appears the powers that be in the City of Maryville cried foul loud enough. According to The State of Tennessee, "City labor force estimates have been revised for 2009 to better reflect the count of UI claims used to disaggregate city data from the county total."
The State of Tennessee August, 2009 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Maryville dropped to 9.8% and the July, 2009 umemployment rate was revised to 10%.
Additional unemployment news, Blount County's unemployement rate dropped 0.3% from July to August, 2009 (10.2 to 9.9). Whereas, Knox County's unemployment rate went up 0.5% (8.2 to 8.7).
I would have thought there was some sort of standard for reporting labor force employment and unemployment figures across this great land. Who would have thought such a large discrepancy could have been reported for the City of Maryville?
Now, I can see the argument being made that "it all evens out," since the Maryville unemployed would now be counted elsewhere, so unemployment figures aggregated at a higher level would be the same.
Nevertheless, the possibility of minimizing unemployment figures through political manipulation is disturbing.