About Those Unemployment Numbers….
We keep hearing President Obama brag on the American economy: “America’s businesses have created 14.5 million new jobs over 75 straight months….We’ve seen the first sustained manufacturing growth since the nineties. We’ve cut unemployment by more than half…”
It all sounds good, like much of what the “gubment” tells us. That is, if you don’t bother to look at the details:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says only 62.6% of the civilian workforce is employed — but we’re told the unemployment rate is only 4.7%. How can this be?
May saw the highest-ever number of Americans — 94,708,000 — not participating in the labor force, which was a 664,000 person increase over April. And, 1.9 million people in May alone have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. But, we’re told that unemployment declined by .3 percent?
If you hadn’t heard this by now, you need to know that the BLS defines unemployment as people who “do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.”
So the majority of the unemployed are not counted in the official government figures, because they’ve been out of work for so long they’ve totally quit looking for another job. That would be the 14,179,000 Americans who’ve left the workplace since 2009. (The only current sector of the economy that showed job growth was health care, which added 46,000 jobs. Wonder why?)
The BLS statisticians even offer another definition of the unemployed: “Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.” But, under this definition, our unemployment rate is only double the official government estimate at 9.7%. What about the 37% of the workforce without a job?
It all sounds good, alright, but we’d be wise to reject the unemployment numbers President Obama tells us. His administration is just playing with us — and playing with the numbers.