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posted: 10/15/2012 12:18 PM

Jobs report decrease defies reality

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Regarding The Associated Press article on the jobless rate published in the Daily Herald on Saturday, Oct. 6: Are you with the Romney camp who say, "This is not what a real recovery looks like," or do you accept the Obama camp's response of "We've made too much progress to return to the policies that caused this crisis in the first place"?

While the unemployment rate announced last week fell below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years, the true level of unemployment (the percentage of Americans who are unemployed, involuntarily working part-time or have given up looking for work) is still nearly 15 percent. The poverty rate is stuck close to 12 percent and shows no signs of declining.

Although the decrease from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent might bode well for the President Obama, the ugly truth is that the 114,000 jobs added in September are not enough to meet monthly population growth to maintain the same level of employment. Unless 200,000 to 250,000 new jobs are "created" each month, this nation is losing ground in job creation.

The discrepancy between facts and reality exists because of the way the stats are gathered. To be counted as "unemployed" a response to a survey must indicate that you are seeking work. If not seeking work, the individual becomes a nonentity. The response doesn't even have to be a personal one. Anyone in the household will do.

Since the survey is conducted by phone, those without phones are not included. Accordingly, the September 7.8 percent unemployment number was based on a survey of fewer than 5000 households with an estimated error (reliability) of 10 percent.

If the economy were a horse race, would it be wise to stay the course and allow Obama's failed policies of the past four years to prevail, or should we tear up Obama's ticket and go with Mitt Romney? The answer should be obvious.

Nancy J. Thorner

Lake Bluff

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