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Jobless numbers off by 70,000 a month

October 3, 2009 - Mike Maneval
Economist Dean Baker reported on Saturday that from March 2008 to March 2009 the U.S. lost an additional 824,000 jobs that were not included in month-by-month tallies. Baker explains on his blog at The American Prospect the underreporting occurs when businesses shut down entirely and, in closing up shop, don't respond to Labor Department surveying. The department uses an imputation to try and cover for the difference, but the officials implementing measure failed to fully comprehend the downturn's impact and the imputation remains mostly consistent with past calculations.

Independent economists, Baker says, have been increasingly skeptical about the accuracy of unemployment data, and their fears were confirmed when state unemployment benefits data indicated an additional 70,000 jobs a month were lost but uncounted over a period of one year.


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