Lies, Damned Lies, and Unemployment Rates

Had Enough Yet?

The Obama Administration’s Bureau of Labors Statistics published the October unemployment numbers on Friday, and to the somewhat uninformed, the numbers might seem improved, if not wonderful.  Unemployment fell to 9.0%, down a tenth of one point from the previous month, and 80,000 jobs were created.  Good news, right?  Not so fast.  When our economy is limping along, we create at least 250,000 jobs per month, but when the economy is really running well, we should expect to see job creation numbers in the range of one-half million per month.  More, examining the unemployment numbers closely, you realize that something is wrong:  They’re adjusting the size of our overall workforce downward, so that mathematically, it must look better in each successive statistical period.  The BLS did a gross adjustment at the end of last year, and they’ve been tweaking it all along.  What they’re doing essentially eliminates the long-term unemployed from the workforce, assuming they have retired or otherwise no longer seek employment.  If you’ve been unemployed for any significant period of time, they’re simply not going to count you any longer.

What you need to understand is that in order to make it appear as though the overall employment picture is improving, this administration is pushing the BLS to make things look less dire than they are in fact.  One way to combat the dis-information is to refer people to John Williams’ excellent Shadow Government Statistics ( website.  To receive all of his reports, there is a substantial fee, but what he provides for free is educational and important for people who generally follow the headlines, but seldom delve into the details.

Courtesy of

The chart at left is from his site, through the month of October, 2011.  There are three lines on the chart, and it is important to understand what they represent.  Once you understand what they mean, it’s astonishing to realize just how dishonest our government has become in reporting statistical data on matters of inflation and unemployment.  The red line (U3) represents the official statistic provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The gray line represents a broader measure(U6) that includes short-term discouraged workers, and underemployed workers who have taken lower-paying, usually part-time work to have any job at all.

The blue line (SGS Alternate) is the most realistic number on the chart, because it reflects the real situation, and doesn’t attempt to write down the size of the total workforce as is done by the BLS.  In 1994, the Bureau of Labor Statistics officially defined long-term discouraged workers out of existence, and with the labor force tinkering the BLS has been doing, all of this presents a rosier picture than exists in fact.  Real unemployment now stands at over 22%.  Ladies and gentlemen, that rivals the unemployment seen in the worst days of the Great Depression.  We are at an unprecedented level of unemployment among men, African-Americans and teenagers/students.  This is a disaster, and it is largely the result of a president who seems intent upon making it worse, in my view to radicalize more of our population, making revolutionary sentiment more prevalent.  This is all adding to a highly destabilized country, and as the chart makes plain, it’s only growing worse.

When the shills for the Obama administration tell you that we’re in a recovery, and the economy is on the mend, you already suspect it is dishonest, because you don’t see any improvements.  Now you know why you feel that way, and it’s not merely a “gut feeling” or “intuition.”  It’s simple fact:  As this government lies to you about the state of the economy, they intend to run for re-election and use this crisis of their own manufacture to prod the uninformed folks along in their direction.  What do you think is the real meaning of the Occupy protests?  Why do you think the Soros/Obama crowd is funding and supporting these protests?  They need an army of radicals to carry out their Marxist designs, and this is part of their long-tended strategy to accomplish that goal.  “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is the old lament, and now you know why the last of these can be so dangerous.

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  • kilt1iron

    Great source you have shared with us, MarkAmerica!

    I will spread this to my group.

  • Conni

    You are the UNINFORMED and a DAMN LIAR. Look at your own CHART, the DEPRESSION and huge unemployment began long before Obama was even elected so that makes you stupid and a liar

    • MarkAmerica

      I'm looking at the chart. It began in August of 2008. That's when the major uptick in unemployment began, but here's the problem: Obama's much-touted stimulus did nothing to restrain it in early 2009, and one could argue exacerbated and accelerated the problem. Here's the fact around which you will be unable to maneuver: Growing any economy requires energy, and Obama's policies have done nothing but to constrain energy development, and drive up the price of energy. I'm sure you can read. BTW, I'm no fan of George Bush either, so drop the partisan hackery in this respect and deal with it. If a bad policy was begun under Bush, it was continued and made worse under Obama. The thing is, Bush is gone. Obama's been driving this ship deeper into the ditch. Blame Bush if you like. It doesn't change the material facts of our situation. The point of the graph, btw, is to show you the divergence in the three lines since the Obama administration started monkeying with the numbers. Up until the end of last year, you'll notice the three lines stayed roughly parallel. The lines began to diverge starting at the end of last year. This is all the evidence you need to understand my larger point: The numbers are being cooked. It's far worse than they're telling you. If Obama is the president of openness and transparency, why is his Bureau of Labor Statistics faking the funk? That's the question you had better answer before you call me a "damn liar" or "stupid."

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