Well, the MSM has done it again! The Labor Department reported Friday (January 6, 2012) that the unemployment rate for December, 2011, fell to 8.5%. And that is the figure slavishly reported by the MSM. But the Labor Department’s statistics don’t include the underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work. This alternative measure, the U6 rate, creates a much higher number – a rate of 15.2%. The official unemployment rate (U3), based on a monthly survey of sample households, counts only people who reported looking for work in the past four weeks. It doesn’t account for part-time workers who want to work more hours, and it doesn’t include those who have given up trying to find work. Even the broader measure of unemployment (U6) doesn’t fully capture how difficult the job market is for US workers. It doesn’t include self-employed workers whose incomes have shriveled. It doesn’t look at former full-time employees who have accepted short-term contracts, without benefits, and at a fraction of their former salaries. And it doesn’t count the many would-be workers who are going back to school, taking on more debt, in hopes that advanced degrees will improve their chances of landing jobs.
Here are some figures in which you may be interested:
- “Official” (U3) unemployment rate was 7.8% when Obama took office in January, 2009 – as of December, 2011, it was 8.5%.
- U6 unemployment rate in January, 2009, was 14.2% – as of December, 2011, it was 15.2%.
- Civilian labor force participation rate in January, 2009, was 65.5% – as of December, 2011, it was 64%.
- Number of people employed in January, 2009, was 140.463 million, for a employed/population ratio of 59.8%. In December, 2011, the SAME figures are 140.790 million and 58.5%.
- Number of people UNemployed in January, 2009, was 11.616 million, and in December, 2011, the number of people UNemployed was 13.097 million.
Some will say that it is unfair to compare what Obama inherited and the present. To that contention I have two comments. First, during his campaign, he said he would immediately fix ALL economic woes. Second, it is interesting to see by how much and the direction of change that three years of his policies have caused.
The Labor Department failed to mention that while 703,000 jobs were created in 2011, that at least 1.2 million job seekers were added to the civilian population over the last year but not to the work force, thereby artificially deflating the unemployment rate. It also failed to mention that the NET number of jobs gained since Obama took office is 1.166 million. But I guess the Labor Department just “forgot” to mention these minor trivialities.
Today (January 5, 2012) in the New York Times, Paul Krugman, economic advisor to Obama, wrote that 1.9 million fewer Americans have jobs than when Obama took office. The economy lost 3.1 million jobs between January 2009 and June 2009, and has since gained 1.2 million jobs (actually 1.166 million, but what is the consequence of rounding if you are unemployed?). From Politicususa, we get this: “Since March 2010, the private sector added 2.3 million new jobs and ‘it took the Obama economy one year to create more jobs’ than during George W. Bush’s presidency did in eight years. The new jobs created during the Obama Administration are due in part to the stimulus, unemployment benefit extension and payroll tax cut from December 2010.”
So which is it? We have three sources reporting conflicting information. Which one is correct? Well, they ALL are. It all depends upon from what point in time you start and upon what is being reported and/or compared. For example, look at this article by Paul Krugman.
The point here is that you should NEVER believe anything anyone (including me) says about anything. Do your own research, then reach your own conclusion. If you do not have time to do your own research, then KNOW your analysts because you are at their mercy. As for the MSM, are we beginning to see that it, by reporting only what it wants to, is “in the tank” for Barack Hussein Obama?
For a much truer picture (IMHO) of today’s economy, refer to DJ Redman’s economic analogy article.
But that’s just my opinion.
Access to other articles like this one can be found at RWNO, my personal web site.