A trend is your friend: the latest unemployment and poverty numbers

In this presidential election year, the public seems particularly focused on the monthly unemployment statistics gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). By now I am sure we all know how it works:

If the numbers are bad:

The Republicans tout the numbers as proof that Obama is destroying the economy, and Democrats make an attempt to assure everyone that one month’s numbers don’t mean anything.

If the numbers are good:

The Democrats tout the numbers as proof that Obama is improving the economy, and Republicans make an attempt to assure everyone that one month’s numbers don’t mean anything.

Last month’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8% from 8.1% in August. Is this drop extraordinary? No. Will the unemployment rate continue to drop? Maybe. Is this a left-wing¬†conspiracy to make Obama look good in the last few months of the campaign? Absolutely not. Let me explain…

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