Sunday, April 15, 2012

More on 92.3%

Mitt Romney has used a meaningless statistical quirk that men's unemployment relative to when Obama took office is almost back to zero to say that Obama is anti-woman, since they have still lost jobs. I think it would be useful to go into the math at play a little bit more.

Since Obama took office, statistics show that men have lost 57,000 jobs, while women have lost 683,000 jobs.\

Female jobs lost/total jobs lost = share of jobs lost by women
683,000/(683,000+57,000) = 0.923

So let's assume that next month the job market grows by 110,000 jobs next month, equally split between men and women. So the share of all jobs lost since Obama lost by women would be:

628,000/(628,000 + 2,000) = 0.997

Since the two lines for changes in male and female unemployment will most likely cross Zero at different times, it is inevitable that at one month or another, there will be a time where one line is very close to zero, giving the temporary result of a huge majority of jobs lost by one side or the other.

So why does the men's line hit zero first. Men were more likely to be in industries hit early on in the downturn, like construction and manufacturing. So the market for men hit bottom sooner, with most of their losses coming before Obama's term, and their recovery began sooner.

The above chart shows change es in jobs since the start of the recession, with the employment at the start of Obama's administration as the baseline. Here we see that men had more of job losses earlier and primed for a quicker recovery.

What's particularly dishonest about Romney's attack is that he neither proposes a mechanism by which Obama supposedly waged his war on women, nor does he propose a remedy.

One possible remedy would be increasing hiring in fields in which women are more likely to be employed, such as education. Obama proposed funding to states to hire teachers as part of his jobs bill, but he was opposed by Republicans who now blame him for the state of women's employment.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

"People can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that." - Homer Simpson