Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flash: Unemployment disappears in Arizona

Dicey "Il Duce" Ducey has figured out how to make crAZy more business friendly: don't talk about unemployment. Here are snippets from the Daily Star report this morning.

Following some less-than-spectacular jobless reports, the Ducey administration is scrapping at least temporarily — and perhaps for good — the monthly media briefings on the state’s unemployment situation.

Kevin Donnellan, director of the Department of Administration, said his agency will continue to produce and distribute monthly reports. The state gets federal funds to gather the data, which are public records.

But it was always the monthly briefings, which have been provided for more than three decades, that provided the "why" behind the numbers.

And it has been that analysis which has sometimes been at odds with the claims of not just Gov. Doug Ducey, but prior governors about how well things are doing. Until now, however, no administration has pulled the plug.

The jobless analysis has most recently been done by Aruna Murthy, the agency’s director of economic analysis.

Donnellan not only is ending the monthly briefings. He also said Murthy, who has conducted them for more than five years, has been fired.

So what's up with that?

State officials said they could not comment on any personnel matter. Murthy said she was told her services are no longer needed.

But the move comes on the heels of Murthy pointing out some questions not only about the pure unemployment numbers but noting that many of the jobs actually being created are in low-wage sectors of the economy.

The logic is impeccable. If we don't talk about unemployment and low wages, the problem will go away. Especially if we shoot the messenger.

See? Arizona has won the race to eliminate unemployment. We're number one.

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