Obama Economist Can’t Spin Trump Jobs Data

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

Lisa D. Cook, a Michigan State economist who served on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), took sharp aim at her old boss’s successor in an appearance at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on March 15, 2017.

“I was waiting to see what they did when the first jobs report came out,” she said at CAP. “They embraced it.”

She went on to claim that “during the campaign, she was horrified that Bureau of Labor Statistics statisticians were under attack.”  Actually, one thing she did not do was to compare the numbers in the latest jobs report with those that came out right before the election. The difference is fairly stark:

  • “The US economy added 161,000 jobs in October, fewer than expected, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Akin Oyedele reported in Business Insider on November 4, 2016.
  • By way of comparison, “The US economy added 227,000 jobs in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, above economists’ expectations of 180,000,” Elena Holodny reported in that same outlet on Feb. 3, 2017.

To her credit, Cook admits that when she was at the CEA in 2011 and 2012, unemployment was still quite high. Yet and still, she and her peers rarely acknowledge: (1.) the total number of working-age Americans out of the labor force; and (2.) the new business survival rate. By the way, that data also comes from the BLS.