A Few Words On Today’s Jobs Report

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 2, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Mostly from brilliant former Veep economist Jared Bernstein, bold mine:

Well, the big jobs report is out showing payrolls grew by a more-than-expected 171,000 last month and the unemployment rate ticked  up slightly, as expected, to 7.9%.  Job growth for the prior two months was revised up by 84,000, and the average monthly pace of job growth over the past four months–a useful way of smoothing out monthly noise in the data–is 173,000, a sharp acceleration over the second quarter’s pace of 67,000 per month (see figure).

The uptick in unemployment was expected after September’s 0.3 percentage point drop, but a few things are worth noting.  First, the 0.1 point increase is statistically indistinguishable from no change at all–the unemployment rate has to rise or fall about 0.2 points to be significant.  At 7.9%, the jobless rate is down significantly–by one full point–from its rate one year ago.  Second, one reason for the slight uptick was more people coming into the labor market seeking work.  We’ll need to see how this development evolves in coming months, but we may be seeing early signs of an improving job market pulling more job seekers in from the sidelines.

All told, given the acceleration in payroll growth, the upward revisions to prior months payroll gains, the trend decline in unemployment, and the pick-up in labor force participation, today’s report is generally pointing to job market that’s showing signs of improvement.

 So basically what we have here is that a decent amount of people are feeling good enough about the economy that they’ve started looking for jobs again. Furthermore, as Berstein notes, the last quarter saw a 3-fold improvement in jobs added over the previous quarter. Obviously, that’s a huge increase. We’re on the right path, and we need to stay on it. Romney, and Ryan have nothing to offer, but reheated Republican rhetoric on taxes. A teevee dinner, if you will, of trick-me now economics. Pardon, that’s trickle-down. I’m sure you’ll pardon the my confusion. 20% across the board tax reductions, Medicare as a voucher system, and promises of 12 million new  jobs? All with no specifics? Sounds like a sketchy deal all right.
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Massachusetts Lab Tech Arrested For Faking Drug Tests

by TKOEd • Monday, Oct 15, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Police said the former state crime lab chemist admitted that she altered or faked test results of drug cases assigned to her. Prosecutors said she went as far as adding cocaine to samples that were negative.

“There was clearly a short cutting of corners,” State Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “There was just getting this done as quickly as possible and all of that we’re looking at.”

Officials said during her nine years the lab, Dookhan tested more than 60,000 drug samples. About 11,000 people now in jail were put there in part due to her work.

Already more than a dozen have been released because of questions about how she handled evidence.

But for some reason lots of folks in this country don’t understand why so many people, especially those most likely to be targeted by police, don’t trust the justice system. Couple cases like this with all the forensic science issues with have in this country, and all the police brutality & misconduct & you have a system that hardly any objective observer can be confident in.

Leah Bartos for Pro Publica:

One afternoon early last year, I punched in my credit card information, paid $495 to the American College of Forensic Examiners International Inc. and registered for an online course.

After about 90 minutes of video instruction, I took an exam on the institute’s web site, answering 100multiple choice questions, aided by several ACFEI study packets.

As soon as I finished the test, a screen popped up saying that I had passed, earning me an impressive-sounding credential that could help establish my qualifications to be an expert witness in criminal and civil trials.

For another $50, ACFEI mailed me a white lab coat after sending my certificate.

I don’t know about you, but shit like this makes me not want to leave my house, and carry a video recording device that’s on at all times.

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