Man Without Qualities

Friday, June 04, 2004

Smackdown In The Battle Of The Predictors II: Yale Wins, Again

More data from the Senate Joint Economic Committee of the type that will have a big effect on the November results:

The Department of Labor reported today that payroll employment increased by 248,000 jobs in May following even larger job gains in both April (346,000 new jobs) and March (353,000 jobs).


Over 1.1 million new jobs have been created in 2004. If this pace of job growth continues, over 2.8 million new jobs will be created this year.
Since August 2003, payrolls have risen by 1.4 million jobs.

Employment continued to expand in manufacturing, rising by 32,000 jobs in May. There have been 91,000 manufacturing jobs created in the past four months.

April statewide data from the Department of Labor also showed that the unemployment rate has fallen in 47 states over the past year.

Full report:


Over 1.1 Million New Jobs in 2004

Unemployment Rate Declining

Today's numbers followed an upwardly revised total of 346,000 jobs in April and 353,000 in March. The 947,000 jobs created in the March-May period made it the strongest for any three months in four years. .... Virtually every major sector of the economy added jobs in May, from retailing to construction industries. Particularly notable were 32,000 new hires in manufacturing -- a fourth straight monthly increase and the biggest for any month since August 1998 when 143,000 manufacturing jobs were created, the department said.

And, let's look a bit into the future. Today's numbers indicate that about 250,000 new jobs were created in May. If that rate were to continue (by no means assured, of course), another about 1,250,000 jobs will be created by election day.

But we are asked by Mr. Elliott's formula and many pundits to believe that none of that will drive the election. Not even general national security considerations will drive the elections, we are told. No, the many pundits assure us that developments in Iraq will drive the election. In fact, stories and images of how some Iraqi prisoners were treated will drive the election.

Sure. Sure it will. You bet.

But then it seems that Mr. Elliott shouldn't believe his own formula either, since he offered his own 21 reasons why it's wrong. The 21 reasons haven't been updated, and his formula does not include meaningful allowances for most of his 21 factors. Hence his formulaic problems. If all 21 Reasons ever mattered, why don't they all matter now? - in particular, why don't they matter enough to put in the formula? Still a few methodological and consistency bugs in the system, eh?

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