Statistics are important things — but how can we believe the numbers when they constantly change?

December 23 — It looks like the economy is growing, but the details are a little making a lot of people wonder what numbers are actually real. 

Apparently the economy has risen 3.2 percent between July and September because of consumer spending. 

If the economy grows too quickly, the Fed will raise interest rates. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “That’s the problem with so many of these reports, the government keeps revising the numbers.” 

This is third quarter GDP information, which is one of the key metrics economists use to measure how things are going. Initially, it was 2.6 percent. Last month it bumped to 2.9 percent and now it’s 3.2 percent. 

So what’s the real number? 

Barkdoll said, “The job growth figure is another one. It was off by over 1 million. I think legitimately some economists are criticizing that saying well when we thought it was a million higher, that prompted the Fed to keep raising the rates. Had they known it was a million lower, that might have prompted the Fed to keep the rates a bit lower. I think it’s a problem.” 

More economic numbers will also come out today. 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “The jobs one is the one that kills me because that’s the one they’ve been hanging their hat on. An historic jobs creation! And then we find out, no, actually when you look there were almost an equal number of full time jobs lost as part time jobs gained. Which means really, it’s been stagnant since last March. There hasn’t been any net increase in employment and some of these jobs, people had to go and get two of them. This is outrageous that that was the number they were hanging their hat on and showing off about how good things are and also the Fed took that supposedly into its accounting when it raised rates. Then we find out, nope, been no real new jobs since March.” 

Barkdoll added, “One of the problems is there’s no recourse on this. So they took that into account when they raised rates. I suppose when they meet next year, could they take this into account to lower rates back? Again, the GDP number has been upwardly adjusted.” 

Additionally, the work force participation rate is at an historic low. 

Barkdoll said, “These are working age people that for whatever reason have deliberately chosen not to go out and get a job. It plays into a lot of these government benefit programs that are out there. A lot of economists are concerned about this.” 

When such a large number of people are not participating in the work force, that also creates an additional set of specific problems. 

Jansen said, “Then there’s that new report that talks about exactly how these states are handing out benefits. No wonder people aren’t working. In New Jersey, you can make 30 percent more than the median income if you don’t work and you’re a family of four. I understand, there’s a six month limit on those, but people are figuring out how to work the system. How do I get back into a job and then out of a job again in order to get those benefits again? Three states give you more than $100,000 if you are a family of four with two were-working people who get unemployment benefits. Then the Obamacare benefits and I have experienced this myself, it puts you on a benefits cliff because it offers you way too much. This is outrageous that people can just sit home and not work and they’re incentivized to do so and then we wonder why things are the way they are with jobs.” 

Barkdoll agreed, “Why would they go and work when there’s those kind of benefits on the table for them?” 

Yesterday the census bureau released the annual population projections for every state in the country. 

Bad news for West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. From July 2021 to July 2022, of the top ten states that have lost population, PA is number four, WVA is number seven and MD is number eight. 

Pennsylvania has a net loss of more than 40,000 residents. West Virginia saw a more than 10,000 loss and Maryland was almost at 10,000. 

Barkdoll said, “When you’re losing this kind of population, it affects the economy. It’s hard to fill jobs. It erodes your tax base. It causes all sorts of other problems. As always, our losses are the gains of the Sunbelt and some western states.”

Florida, Idaho, the Carolinas and Texas have seen the most growth. 

Barkdoll said, “This migration around the country, this has been really going on for the last 20 years now. The northeast, the Rustbelt states keep losing people and they’re all moving to the south and the western states where it’s nicer weather as well.”