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Unemployment rate rises to 8.3% – again

The Bureau of Labor Statistics carefully wordsmithed today’s release of the July Employment Situation Report which showed that unemployment has hit 8.3% again despite a shrinking American workforce.

To downplay the alarming jobs news, the BLS used phrases like “essentially unchanged” to describe the increase in the most recognized measure on the health of the workforce. If the number had dropped to 8.1% it would, no doubt, have been a “marked decrease”.

The size of the workforce also decreased by almost 150,000 people. Referred to as essentially unchanged, this number shows that even though a huge number of Americans dropped out of the workforce (gave up on finding jobs), the rate of employment still rose to a level not seen since February.

The report claims that the economy gained 163,000 jobs, but when looking at the seasonally adjusted employment numbers according to the BLS population survey, there are almost 200,000 fewer people working in July than there were in June (142.4 million in June had jobs while only 142.2 million in July had employment).

Where the magical 163,000 jobs increase figure shows up is in the seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls number. These numbers are marked as preliminary and are likely to be adjusted downward to help the August jobs report not look as dismal as it likely will be.

There are 28 million Americans on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), a figure that has increase from 26.8 million at the end of the previous administration. The government counts 852,000 people to have given up on finding a job and 5.2 million have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more – an increase of more than 30,000 from June.

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) issued a statement this morning saying that “President Obama has said his economic policies have worked. He claims the private sector is doing just fine. The American people know differently, and that is why House Republicans voted this week to stop the tax hike on all Americans.” Rep. Price also said that he hoped “President Obama and Washington Democrats will acknowledge not only that we can do better but that we will do better when we put in place policies that stop growing the size of Washington and start growing confidence in our economy.”

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