The only historical labor statistics I've really worked with are from the 1920-21 depression. I have not read much of the Great Depression literature, but this post suggests that official unemployment statistics did not include CCC or WPA employment (they provide an adjustment in the post)! Does anyone know if this has been adjusted in the literature?
That's absolutely unbelievable. I guess at the time I could see the logic. You didn't want to look like you were gaming the numbers and large non-military public employment was unusual. But these are people getting paid to work on legitimate projects. I'd hate to think the official statistics excluding these jobs are widely used. Does anyone know the situation on that?
This is like Bob Higgs' outrageous decision to just subtract federal spending out of the numbers to determine the end of the depression. Surprise, surprise! When you just decide that growth and jobs that would work against your theory don't count, your theory magically gets supported by the data!
I don't know if this is what's going on with the labor data. Maybe they're just noting an adjustment that is made regularly. If anyone has more information on these things, I'm very interested.
Warp Drive Economics - The New York Times
4 minutes ago