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The reaction to the Australian unemployment figures http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0 always amazes me. To a statistician they have a fairly obvious 95% CI of +/-0.2 pp, so they vary about 0.1 to 0.2 per month, occasionally more, but it is purely sampling variation. It takes at least 3 months, maybe more, of data before it is obvious what is happening in the economy. Even economists who you would hope would understand can't seem to understand this.

This graph will be updated, but if your looking at the February 2016 one, it is going down because of a massive property bubble. Something that economists can't understand either.

There really needs to be better understanding of sampling variation. A general course on statistics would work well without any hypothesis testing, only descriptive statistics and confidence intervals. Simulation could be used to explain the concepts.


Very interesting view. When you speak about ethics, my first thought goes to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWmUnU7HS-I (see in particular the animation at 1:20). It's a curious coincidence (really?) that I am the second reader who cited statistics about unemployment.

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