The Illusion of Falling Official 'Unemployment' Fades

By: Clint Siegner


Friday's employment report featured the headline unemployment rate falling from 5.0% to 4.7% - which is a huge move lower. About the only encouraging aspect of the report is that markets largely ignored the fantasy headline for a change and focused on the ugly details.

Nearly everyone acknowledged the report as bad news and markets reacted accordingly.

But not all. Janet Yellen and her crew at the Fed must see through the phony statistics because they are so reluctant to tighten monetary policy. Publicly, however, they talk about job growth and the wonders their stimulus policies have worked.

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also talk triumphantly about putting people back to work. Obama has been parading around the country talking about the fabulous economic recovery he has led. Hillary takes credit for a recovery as well, but promises she can do even better.

They prefer people focus on the headline number and not ask too many questions. After all, their people at the Bureau of Labor Statistics have been hard at work "seasonally adjusting," modifying the formulas, and otherwise massaging the data. They are painting such a lovely picture for voters to enjoy.

The "unemployment rate" has fallen to levels not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. It's like magic. And just about as real as when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

The contradiction in their data just keeps getting bigger. The phony "unemployment" rate and the percentage of the population with a job, which readers get by digging into the report details, BOTH keep falling.

And the explanations are getting pretty outlandish. We're told people are "voluntarily" leaving the workforce in droves. Prosperity is so high lots of folks are retiring early, switching to part time work, or living on a single income so one parent can stay home with the kids. Riiiiight!!!

If people have stopped buying it, will officials and their friends in the financial press stop waging their disinformation campaign? One would think the loss of credibility and embarrassment might limit the amount of nonsense they publish each month.

At least, as said, the people didn't buy Friday's headline for once. If we are going to have free markets and find solutions, Americans will have to grapple with reality. James Quinn, of The Burning Platform, does a great job of looking past the headline and pulling some interesting facts out of the employment data:

  • Since 2007 the workforce has grown by 21 million people, while the number of employed has grown by only 5 million.

  • The labor participation rate has plunged from 66.0% to 62.6%, the lowest since the 1970s.

  • The number of Americans who have left the workforce, allegedly because their lives are so fulfilled, is 16 million. Meanwhile, enrollment for the food stamps and Social Security Disability programs is through the roof.

  • The number of people over the age of 65 who are still working keeps growing as older workers try to avoid starvation and homelessness.

  • Of the 5 million jobs added since 2007, only 2 million of them were full-time.

  • Obama's success in destroying the mining industry is borne out in the 207,000 jobs destroyed in the last two years.

  • The percentage of men aged 25 to 54 (prime working years) not working is at an all-time high.

  • Real median household income (using the official CPI, which is also highly manipulated for PR purposes) is still 1.3% LOWER today than it was in 2007. Wages continue to stagnate in the 2.3% growth range, while actual inflation for real people in the real world exceeds 5%.

That is the reality when it comes to jobs in the U.S. Keep questioning the official propaganda.

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