Friday, September 19, 2003

What's the Truth, Really?

Our office follows the statistics the state gives us on unemployment figures, but tends to take them with a grain of salt. This is especially true after our economic development office was contacted by the state and asked if we could help provide any job gains/losses figures. It turned out the state apparently doesn't really have a concise way to track those figures or they just take a guess every month. We don't know. None of this adds up to us taking much stock in figures that seem to be politically manipulated depending on how it will benefit the powers that be. For a quick look into what I'm talking about, take a look at this story in the Buffalo News on the slowing of job losses in the region. Jamestown has been flat or in the positive range for most of this year for jobs and generally well ahead of the Western New York region. Now, all of a sudden, just in time for an election in the city, we've apparently had job losses and have fallen behind Buffalo for this month. If you look further down the article, there are percentages for unemployment. Our unemployment rate apparently dropped a sixth of a percent from 6.3 to 5.7 percent. Now, maybe there's some big explanation that I'm not getting here, but wouldn't it seem to you that if our unemployment rate dropped then our jobs number would have increased or stayed the same? The only arguement I can think of is that we may have lost some jobs and the people who were collecting unemployment have stopped, but still don't have jobs. It's still fishy to me.

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