When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Economy

U.S. Jobs Report: Unemployment Down, Conspiracy Theories Fly

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, WASHINGTON POST, CNN, SALON (USA)

Worldcrunch

The U.S. unemployment rate fell below 8% for the first time in nearly four years, according to the September jobs report released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8% in September, while total non-farm employment rose by 114,000. Employment increased mostly in the health care (+17,000 jobs), transportation (+9,000) and warehousing (+4,000) sectors. Total employment rose by 873,000.

The manufacturing sector lost 16,000 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all private nonfarm employees rose by 7 cents to $23.58.

The last time the unemployment rate was this low, reports CNN, was in January 2009, when President Obama was inaugurated. Ever since the beginning of the crisis, this monthly report has been the most intensely scrutinized economic indicator.

This is a good jobs report in a still weak economy, according to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. Good, but not great.

But hard numbers didn't convince all. Within minutes of the report’s publication, Twitter filled with conspiracy theorists claiming the books were cooked. They even included former General Electric chief Jack Welch.

Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers

— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012

Fox Business analyst Stuart Varney said, “There is widespread mistrust of this report and these numbers, because there are clear contradictions,” reports Salon. "How convenient that the rate drops below 8 percent for the first time in 43 months five weeks before an election!" added Varney.

Labor economist Betsey Stevenson wrote, “anyone who thinks that political folks can manipulate the unemployment data are completely ignorant of how the BLS works and how the date are compiled.” Plus, adds Klein, if the White House was manipulating the numbers, wouldn’t they make them higher than 114,000.

No wonder Obama looked so tired during debates. He was up all night personally writing a fake jobs report.

— Indecision (@indecision) October 5, 2012

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Sources

Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest