"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Weird Statistic

I don't want to be too picayune about the latest unemployment figures,which showed an improved 8.3% unemployment rate for January.   Nor do I want to be overly dramatic.   But there's something weird about the numbers.   The unemployment rate for white Americans dropped from 7.5% to 7.4%.   The unemployment rate for Asian Americans dropped from 6.8% to 6.7%.   But the unemployment rate for black Americans dropped from 15.8% to 13.6%, a 2.2% drop.   In one month.  That can't happen in the real world.  

I'm not necessarily saying that the administration is jiggering the numbers.   I'm just saying that there's some statistical noise in the calculation that bears consideration.  

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