Some statistics cannot be understood without being set within a political framework, because they reflect politics as much as, or more than, they do reality.
The unemployment rate is an example and a cautionary tale.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the seasonally adjusted official unemployment rate for February fell to a four-year national low of 7.7%. While the White House cautiously congratulated itself, Republicans quickly pointed to what is often called the real unemployment rate; it stood at 14.3%.[Read more...]