R.I. Unemployment Worse than it Seems

By Justin Haskins, Providence Journal,

The old adage “numbers never lie” is true. Numbers can’t lie, but the people who use them can and very often do. Such is the case with the unemployment rate in Rhode Island.

When a falling unemployment rate in Rhode Island was coupled with a sudden loss of 2,600 jobs from September to October, Charles J. Fogarty, the director of the state’s Department of Labor and Training, talked-up the unemployment drop and dismissed serious concerns about the job losses. “[The number of lost jobs] got our attention but everything else seems to be working well,” Fogarty insisted. “So, it could be a statistical aberration.”

The DLT and others in the state who stand to benefit from improving employment figures see recent improvements in Rhode Island and across the nation as a sign of significant economic gains. Between June and November 2014, the Rhode Island unemployment rate dropped from 7.9 percent to 7.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, the U.S. unemployment rate also dropped — down to 5.6 percent — causing many political pundits to tout the alleged success of President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

What pundits both inside and outside of Rhode Island won’t tell you is that the real reason the unemployment rate is falling is not because the economy is improving; it’s because unemployment data are being tortured to fit a politically driven narrative. In other words, politicians and their sycophants are lying to you.

[Published by Providence Journal, read more here]