Online Community

ASA Central

A dynamic online community for ASA members to exchange ideas and best practices, and connect with industry peers in their sector. Visit the site ›
Find Goods & Services

ASA Marketplace

This powerful online resource enables staffing companies to find and access industry supplier information, products and services. Visit the site ›
Daily Publication

Staffing Today Newsletter

Your #1 daily source for news about the workforce industry. With versions available to members and nonmembers. Visit the site ›
Health Care Reform

Affordable Care Act Resources for Staffing

Up-to-date news, resources, interactive tools, and more—all focused on helping ASA members comply with the ACA. Visit the site ›
Advertisers & Exhibitors

Staffing Industry Suppliers

ASA has numerous and diverse marketing opportunities available to help you reach the rapidly growing staffing industry. Visit the site ›
Exclusive Products

ASA Store

From certification packages and study guides to marketing tools and data reports, ASA resources add value to your business. Visit the site ›

Analysis: Quirks in Jobless Data Could Bite Obama

Reuters (03/08/12) Jason Lange

Some economists are asserting the government is mismeasuring seasonal shifts in the labor market, and suggest the jobless rate’s sharp winter drop is partly an illusion. The unemployment rate has fallen six-tenths of a percentage point from October’s level of 8.9%, an unusually rapid decline that has puzzled analysts who question whether the economy was growing fast enough to bring unemployment down so quickly.

Several Wall Street economists have crunched the unemployment numbers and now believe the deep 2007-09 recession left a lasting impact, distorting the outcome of the government’s adjustments for normal winter lulls in employment. If their research is correct, the unemployment rate could change little in the coming months, potentially hurting President Obama’s chances for re-election.

Even the U.S. Federal Reserve has been surprised by the sharp declines in the jobless rate, and economists at the central bank are studying what lies behind the recent apparent improvements in the labor market. The government analysts who produce the data defend their methods for adjusting the numbers, noting that some real shifts in seasonal employment may have taken hold during the recession, meaning the winter of 2008-09 may not have been an anomaly.