US BLS Labor Data for Spokane through August 2012

Reminder: Here is WA State’s “adjusted data” chart showing non-farm employment in Spokane County:

The above chart is produced by Washington’s Employment Security Department using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The ESD economists “adjust” the data for local market conditions, whatever that means.

The WA State produced chart for Spokane flattens the trend while the BLS data show a declining employment trend in Spokane County.

Here is a chart  based on the raw BLS data, without adjustments, updated through August 2012.

No explanation has been provided as to why, when the number of employed goes down, the number of people either looking for work or holding a job (the red “labor force” line) also goes down. That does not make logical sense.

Almost 10% of non-farm jobs have been lost since the peak; at the peak in 2008 unemployment was between  5% and 6%. Today the unemployment is 9.0% but only because the labor force itself has magically shrunk. “Honey, I shrunk the Labor Force!”

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