Beneath the Surface
Last week CNBC.com posted an interesting analysis with the headline, “Beneath Jobs Report Surface Lie Some Ugly Truths”. It’s doubtful that many Americans were paying attention, however.
“Before getting too excited about the modest uptick in job creation and a slight downward move in the unemployment rate,” the article began, “it’s probably worth a look under the hood. As is usually the case, there is far more than meets the eye to the Labor Department’s report that the economy added 117,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent.
“Let’s start with the reality that fewer people actually were working in July than in June. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics breakdown, there were 139,296,000 people working in July, compared to 139,334,000 the month before, or a drop of 38,000.
“But the job creation number was positive and the unemployment rate went down, right? So how does that work? It’s a product of something the government calls ‘discouraged workers’, or those who were unemployed but not out looking for work during the reporting period. This is where the numbers showed a really big spike – up from 982,000 to 1.119 million, a difference of 137,000 or a 14 percent increase. These folks are generally not included in the government’s various job measures.
“So the drop in the unemployment rate is fairly illusory – stick all these people back in the workforce and you wipe out the job creation and the drop in unemployment. For once, one of the government’s other tools of economic voodoo didn’t help the count. The vaunted birth-death model, a byzantine approximation of business creation and failure, actually subtracted 18,000 from the total job creation after a five-month run where it added a total 741,000 positions to the count. And the so-called ‘real’ unemployment rate, which adds in discouraged workers and others not counted as part of the unemployment rate, actually pulled back one notch to 16.1 percent.
“But there’s plenty of bad news to go around. The average duration of unemployment rose for the second straight month and is now a record 40.4 weeks – about 10 months and now double where it was when President Obama took office in January 2009. The total number of unemployed for more than half a year now stands at 6.18 million, 130 percent higher than when the president’s term began.
“But how good or bad the unemployment picture is really may not come into view until next month, because of distortions from seasonal adjustments. Including teachers and others who experience seasonal unemployment, total joblessness actually rose 1.23 million.” –
All this baloney about “economic recovery”is just another diversion. We haven’t emerged from a recession, we’re into the next Great Depression, and because Americans have been “dumbed down”, politicians continue to run amok. And speaking of running amok, those in Washington need to be made aware that when the unemployed finally wise up – as they have in England – no amount of diversionary tactics will quiet them. Only jobs and weekly paychecks will divert hungry Americans.