- Posted April 15, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What About Those Job/Unemployment Numbers?
Everyone knows that the federal government uses some new kind of weird math when releasing statistics and details. This could not be better seen than with the muck and mire that's attached each time the government comes out with new job figures and unemployment percentages.
Officially, the current US unemployment rate stands at 8.2%. Totally unacceptable and higher than the 7.9% rate when President Barack Obama took office. Some economist and labor exports put the "real" unemployment rate closer to 9.6%.
Why such differences in what is and the numbers reported?
We keep hearing about all the new jobs being created yet in 2009 when the President took office there were 133.6 million people employed. Today that figure is 132.7 million. That means there over 1 million people no longer employed that once were employed.
Mark Landsbaum writing in the Orange County Register has an interesting piece on the figures and points out how the current Administration has even redefined what the term "unemployed" means.
Government massages the statistics to make it seem the employment picture is improving much faster than it is in the Obama era.
President Barack Obama understands that it's the economy. And he's not stupid. But he is sly, which is a polite way of saying, he doesn't tell the whole truth. The Obama administration, with an assist from compliant mainstream news outlets, doesn't dare come clean on economic matters. That could cost him his job in November.
The administration deceptively conceals from people the true monumental decline in the number of working Americans. Simultaneously, the White House misleadingly reduces the official unemployment rate using an accounting sleight of hand. Perhaps most egregious, the president pretends the worsening situation is improving, which is like telling passengers everything's peachy as the ship sinks.
All administrations engage in similar fast shuffles. But as deceptions go, Obama shows rare mastery.
"One of the highly developed talents of President Barack Obama is the ability to say things that are demonstrably false, and make them sound not only plausible but inspiring," economist Thomas Sowell writes. "On this and on many other issues, you would have to know what the facts are to know that he is lying. He is obviously counting on the fact that, in this era of dumbed-down education, many people have no clue as to what the facts are. He is also counting on something else – namely, that the pro-Obama media will not expose his lies. One of the many ways of lying smoothly is to simply redefine words. Barack Obama is a master at that as well."
One word Obama redefines is "unemployment." One might think that to be unemployed means simply to not have a job. Au contraire, says the White House.
The government counts people out of work in a way most people wouldn't. In fact, if out-of-work people get discouraged enough to quit looking for jobs, the government no longer considers them unemployed for purposes of that widely reported percentage. And it's that reported unemployment percentage that grabs headlines.
We wonder if the unemployed realize it's so easy to end their plight. Simply no longer look for work. Then they'd no longer be unemployed. At least by White House logic.
What would the unemployment rate look like if those workers were added back into the mix? Economist John Lott says if those who have given up looking for jobs and those who have settled for part-time work are included in the unemployment calculation, the unemployment rate actually is nearly 1 percent higher than the government's official statistic.
You won't read this atop a White House press release. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports fewer Americans are working today than when Obama was sworn in: 132.7 million now versus 133.6 million in 2009. That's nearly a million fewer workers on the job.
Even by the government's carefully prepared (dare we say, "doctored?") numbers, there were 12.8 million unemployed in February compared with 11.6 million in January 2009 when the president took office. By Obama's own count, the number of people he considers unemployed increased by more than a million. Imagine what he could do with two terms in office.
Let's recap: Since Obama came to office, there are nearly 1 million fewer people on the job, and more than 1 million more people officially unemployed.
Then there is this: The number of unemployed Americans in January declined by a substantial amount: 339,000, a figure the administration trumpeted. But that decline occurred only because a shockingly larger number – almost 1.2 million additional Americans – were reclassified by the government in January as no longer being in the labor force.
"Unfortunately," economist Lott noted at the time, "that has been the consistent story that has made this 'recovery' unique, as more and more Americans have just given up looking for work."
Another 164,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force last month. These join the 1.2 million reported in January who had quit looking for work, and consequently are no longer counted when bureaucrats calculate the official unemployment rate.
March demonstrated in microcosm the perversity of the Obama job-counting scam. The government again reduced the pool of people in the job market by no longer counting some of the jobless, in that way permitting even a disappointing increase in new jobs to show an improvement in the unemployment rate. We guess that if they do enough of this, the nation theoretically could end up with no one left in the labor force but effectively achieve full employment. They could destroy the job market to save it.
"It is hard to celebrate a lower unemployment rate that is the direct result of fewer people actually working," noted Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families. "Yet this is the reality of Obama's economic 'recovery.'"
So, what's the real Obama jobs track record?
In 2009 he signed a stimulus package intended to create "or save" 4 million jobs and bring the unemployment rate down to 6 percent. The rate now is 8.2 percent, even by deceptive bookkeeping, and there are almost 1 million fewer people working.
Since January 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 5 million people have dropped out of the labor force, reportedly the greatest decline on record. Only 10 percent to 20 percent of those are young people opting to stay in school. The vast majority are people dropping out because they simply can't find jobs and have quit looking, says Brian Holte, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
The labor force ranged from 66 percent to 67 percent of working-age Americans under the Clinton and both Bush administrations. It has declined to 63.7 percent this year, the lowest percentage in 29 years. That means one in three working-age Americans, 88 million in all, no longer are in the workforce.
So what are we to make of all this?
Are we to give the Obama Administration a pass on the economic recovery and job increases being reported?
Should we just take the government's word for it, when it tells us we are better off and could have been worse?
From the Cornfield, I want more transparency and more factual information coming from the government.