Unspinning Unemployment

I want to get into the unemployment news here, folks, and I want to tell you… I really wish this were true. I wish everything they were telling us about this were true. You know, I was going through all of this and remembering so many contradictions. Do you realize we’re into our 19th month since they say the recession ended? Nineteen months into “the recovery,” nineteen months since they say the recession ended. Now, we’ve got this job number: 36,000 new jobs. Everybody says that’s disappointing, but somehow the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.7% to 9%. Now, keep in mind we are in the presidential election campaign season already.

And also keep in mind no president, no incumbent has ever been reelected with an unemployment rate above 8%. So that’s where we’re headed here. Now, we were told… Before I get into any of the base numbers for this month and today’s report, I want to remind you of this. We were told one year ago, almost — actually probably closer now to 13 months ago — by Associated Press that it would take three million jobs (new jobs, three million newly created jobs) to lower the unemployment rate 1%. They were just reporting it. Other quasi-experts have said the same thing. So people have been taking that number and forecasting the future and saying, “Well, we’re gonna get us back down to where we were, around the five to six percent unemployment numbers.

“But it’s gonna take to 2014, 2015.” In fact, here’s how it reads from January 21st, 2010. “Another way of looking at it,” writes Jeannine Aversa, of the AP: “A net total of about 3 million jobs would have to be created this year to lower the average unemployment rate by 1 percentage point for 2010…” Ladies and gentlemen, in the last two months we have lowered the unemployment rate by .8%, almost a full point, with only 139,000 new jobs: 103,000 jobs in December, and 36,000 in January. Now, the unemployment rate dropped to 9% with 36,000 jobs. The number of jobs created is a thimble.

It’s irrelevant. It’s almost statistically zero. Yet the unemployment rate has plummeted almost a point. How is this happening? I’ll tell you: We’re being spun like a top, and here’s exactly how they’re doing it. They have just subtracted 2.2 million jobs from the universe of available jobs. And how did they arrive at the 2.2 million number? Very simple: 2.2 million people in the last reporting period have stopped looking for work. Well, we’ve told you about the U6 unemployment rate, the U3. The U6 calculates that. It takes into account everybody out of work for whatever reason. The U3, which is the standard reported unemployment rate every…

Like the 9% is U3, and that consists of people who are looking for work. It does not count those who have given up, who have been looking for years that have given up. It does not count those whose unemployment benefits have expired. But the U6 does. The U6 is actually up 17-point-something percent. The U6 is simply a government categorization. It’s the letter “U,” dash, “six” (I want to make this visible for those of you listening to radio) versus U3, and that figure actually went up. It’s the more accurate of the two. So even by virtue of adding 36,000 new jobs, the real unemployment rate went up 17-point-something percent.

The reported unemployment rate went down almost one full percent, getting ever closer to the magic number of 8%. That’s where the Obama regime is headed if they can massage it and pull it off. Now, okay… (interruption) Yes, there is an exception: FDR was reelected twice with a jobless number higher an 8%, but that’s because FDR never squandered the goodwill that he had. Everybody still believed he was doing his best with the New Deal and to fix everything, and they had a lot of hope and change invested in FDR. That’s missing with Obama now. I don’t know if ever gonna recapture that.

So anyway, the bottom line is they just decided: Since 2.2 million people have dropped off of the rolls from those looking for work they have just subtracted that many jobs from the universe of jobs available throughout the country. Just 2.2 million. Well, when you reduce the overall number of total jobs, you obviously are going to reduce the percentage of overall unemployment, the way you calculate it for the U3 category. But the U6 number continues to be the real story, and it went up over 17%. There isn’t… As I say, 19 months ago the recession ended, theoretically; therefore, we’re 19 months into a recovery. You don’t feel it. You just don’t. You know it when it’s happening, and it doesn’t feel like it’s happening.

Much more on this, too, plus lots of other stuff lurking away.



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