Monday, September 6, 2010

Misleading Unemployment Statistics

In today's Standard Speaker Borys Krawczeniuk writes a column about unemployment in Hazleton. Ed Mitchell has been touting a misleading figure out there in an attempt to fool the public about the real issue. Why do I say misleading?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States government maintains this website that clearly shows Pennsylvania unemployment unabated rise since the beginning of the year. At this link on their site county unemployment data is listed for Pennsylvania. There is a very important footnote on that page.

NOTE: Rates shown are a percentage of the labor force. Data refer to place of residence. The City of Hazleton does not have any industrial parks. You will find them surrounding the city- Hazle Township, West Hazleton, Sugarloaf, Butler Township, and McAdoo. Firms such as Archer Daniels Midland, Hershey, Office Max, Autozone, etc are located in those parks. If they lay off any workers who live in the City of Hazleton the statistic gets charged to Hazleton even though the workers lived outside the city. How Mitchell can blame the Mayor for loss of jobs that weren't within the city limits in the first place and get away with it is beyond me?

Here is a link to the Center For Workforce Information and Analysis website that shows the Metropolitan Statistical Areas and the Micropolitan Statistical Areas. The City of Hazleton is not listed. The residence issue is the reason the data can be skewed when drilling down too deep. Why don't they list the unemployment figures for Nanticoke, Lattimer, Pardeesville, Hollywood, Ashley, Dunmore,etc. It's simple. To do so would create a statistical anomaly.

Its a Democratic state with a Democratic Representative who worked for a Democratic Congressman. It is not hard to figure out why there is a statistic for Hazleton and not one for Nanticoke.

If Borys wants to be responsible to the people who read his articles he needs not to stretch the facts to create a story. He needs to report them for what they are.

The chart at the top of the article explains what is happening all over Northeastern Pennsylvania. Paul Kanjorski, instead of telling us what's wrong tell us what you did about it. Evidently NOTHING.

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