Martin Bashir | October 05, 2012
>>> e, how convenient that the rate drops below 8% for the first time in 43 months five weeks before an election. that's why there's some mistrust of these numbers.
>> oh, how convenient. first those democrats rigged the polls to make it look like romney is faltering in the swing states , now they're falsifying the unemployment nments to make it look like the economy is recovering. whatever next? an election where the republican vote is suppressed by voter i.d. laws and the president wins a second term? let's ask msnbc policy analyst ezra klein of the " washington post ." good afternoon, ezra . i'm glad you're here. it needs a man of your intellect to unravel this complex and comprehensive conspiracy. here is the one question we keep hearing today. take a listen to this, ezra .
>> how do you drop a third in the overall number and only add about 100,000 jobs?
>> how did we get a drop of one-third in the unemployment rate ?
>> well, we didn't get a drop of one-third. the unemployment rate went down 0.3 of 1%. that's how much we're talking about here. a lot of this is because we have this weird psychological fixation on this line at 8% and it went under that, but we've had a 0.2 drop earlier, we had a 0.4 of a percentage drop a year ago. this is not some incredibly weird aberration we need to explain. it's not even, frankly, that good of a number. 7.8% is not great. could go up to 7.9% or 8% next month. the idea we've had an incredibly wonderful labor report that we have to figure out a conspiracy to explain is out of line with the actual numbers. it's 0.3 of one percentage point.
>> but there's been a chorus of conspiracy theorys in relation to these numbers such that you yourself have been forced to write a story that begins with the following line, "we've hit that moment in the election when people begin to lose their minds." you can't possibly mean that a man as erudite as allen west is losing his marbles.
>> i would never imply that, but there is -- as you say, there's been this emergent conspiracy theory . i call them the jobbers, and they've just sort --
>> the jobbers.
>> they misunderstood the entire nature of this. you had this drop, it's not a huge drop, not something we haven't seen before, and it's explained internal in the polling. what you had in the last month was a very high increase of people got part-time jobs, about 550,000 people appear to have gotten part-time jobs in the household survey which is different than the payroll survey where you hear the 114,000 number. this appears to have been happening every year about this time. a year around about 500,000 people got part-time jobs, a year before, around 50,000. it's reason to believe it has to do with people going back to school and getting jobs. there's a lot of folks in the younger age groups that have gotten employed. this isn't a huge surprise. we have been seeing significant drops in the unemployment rate in the fall months in the last couple years, been seeing similar internal numbers in the last couple years. the folks who are freaking out about this, i don't really know whether or not it is just, as i say, because people are losing their minds over the lex, or they're cynically trying to so distrust about a slight improvement in the labor market , but either way there's no reason whatsoever to give any credence to this ridiculous conspiracy mongering.
>> ezra klein , speaking clearly and soundly, and don't forget that ezra is guest hosting "the lost word" tonight at 10:00 p.m . good luck and thank you.
>> thank you.