Tag Archives: BLS

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.”

81,000 More Americans Out of Work in May – Analysis and Graphs

“The jobs recovery has taken a step backward,” – Patrick O’Keefe,  former deputy assistant secretary for the Labor Department.

While the Obama administration downplays the seriousness of the May jobs report, drilling into the numbers shows a much bleaker jobs situation and trend than the President would like to admit. A situation even darker for the 81,000 additional Americans that were unable to find gainful employment last month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment situation report this morning and revealed that only 69,000 jobs were added to the struggling economy in May. That is far less than the 115,000 initially reported for April and far worse than the almost a quarter-of-a-million jobs created in both January and February.

According to economists, at least 150,000 new jobs must be added to meet the number of new entrants into the workforce to improve the employment situation. For each month where new job creation falls below that mark, the difference represents more Americans unable to find work.

The chart (top left) illustrates the growing chasm between the number of new workers looking for work and the number of jobs being added to the economy.

Obama policies failing to create jobsIn May, just 69,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added, that leaves 81,000 new workers without the possibility of finding a job. In 11 of the past 17 months (going back to January 2011), there have not been enough jobs created to handle the additional workers entering the labor force, much less to allow the 13 million Americans already out-of-work. This results in a heavily-negative employment climate for the majority of the last year-and-a-half.

We used a period starting in 2011 to give Obama’s policies enough time to take hold and show improvement in the economy. Taking 2009 and 2010 out of the analysis should show whether President Obama has been able to at least improve on the economic situation he blames on the Bush administration or if his policies are ineffective. Even taking out those early years of his term, the numbers are staggeringly negative and point to an administration that has failed to put Americans back to work.

Todd Schoenberger, managing principal The BlackBay Group said, “It’s painfully obvious the economic recovery in the U.S. isn’t just slowing down, it’s pulling up the emergency brake.”

For those that are employed, “their spending power is sliding when accounting for inflation.” he added.

As was noted in USAToday, the May report held other bad news:

Also worrisome: the average workweek fell to 34.4 hours from 34.5 hours in April. That doesn’t bode well for additional hiring in the near term. Employers typically increase the hours of existing employees before hiring additional staff.

Considering the recent trends and more recent data, things are not looking up.

If the job gains (losses) are summed over the entire period of the analysis (chart left), the dire state of the American jobs situation is clear. The U.S. economy has shed almost 400,000 jobs in the most recent 17 months of the Obama presidency. It would seem that the further the country progresses through the Obama agenda, the worse the economy gets.


*all charts and statistics were created directly from data provided in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Reports from January 2011 to May 2012.


U/E Rate Makeover Can’t Hide America’s Beans and Rice Economy

America’s denial of economic reality continued this week with the posting of job growth numbers that are inflated due to the removal of over 4 million out of work Americans in the baseline figures of “worker participation rates.” Please see John Ransom’s article here for some harsh truths as to just how the unemployment numbers are being manipulated today. The lower worker participation numbers that are being used to falsely lower the unemployment rate is akin to people being spoon-fed a load of beans and rice, while being told it is a 4-course steak and lobster dinner. Just close your eyes to the truth, shovel the beans in, and pretend it is a 16 oz. Porterhouse steak. Judging by the number of fluffy media reports falsely suggesting that the 2010 American summer of recovery [myth] has now evolved into the 1980’s-style economic boom 6.0 of 2012 just in time for Barack Obama’s reelection, America is apparently quite content with the beans and rice economy of the past three years.

Setting up the false economic numbers during the 2011 holiday season.

Several media outlets were headlining the grand holiday sales as being a true sign of America’s recovering economy back in Dec. of 2011. Bloomberg declared: Retail Sales Climb 4.5% in it’s headline on Dec 31st. The S.F. Business Times said , “Overall, December same store sales at 24 retailers were up 3.6 percent, according to Kantar Retail. That’s up from the 3.1 percent sales gain in November 2011, and on top of a 3.2 percent same store sales gain in December 2010. (Results do not include Wal-Mart, which no longer reports monthly sales.)” Many media outlets were content with comparing the 2011 sales totals with the totals of 2010, which were some of the lowest on record, as in the above misleading statement that 2011 sales numbers were “up 3.2% over the 2010 numbers.” Dishing people out an extra helping of beans to go with their rice does not, in fact make it a steak dinner. While the message of an economic boom during the 2011 holiday season was promoted heavily in the media all holiday season long, the truth came home to roost in the following facts:

Sears/Kmart to Close 120 Stores as holiday sales plummeted during the 2011 holiday season.

Best Buy Holiday Sales Slump, 2012 Outlook Reaffirmed where we see the following fact:

The Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer, which is also known as the ‘big blue box’ because of the prominent design on Best Buy stores, reported revenues of $8.4 billion for the month of December, flat with last year.Total comparable store sales declined of 1.2 percent..

All during the months of Nov. and Dec. of 2011 we saw fluffed up projections about how great the holiday retail season would be, only to be served up a heaping helping of reality as we see the truth come out in the final sales numbers. Would you like some ketchup to go with that plate of beans?

Today’s misleading headline of the week comes from yahoo.com/AP: Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 pct., hiring surges
Nation added 200,000 jobs in December, ending the year with a surge of hiring; rate at 8.5 pct.

America is being served up that same dressed up beans and rice dinner posing as a steak and lobster economy with the current unemployment numbers, as we see that back in March of 2010 in a CNBC article, Jobless Rate Actually Stands at 11.5% which exposed the current method of operation being used by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) to deflate actual unemployment numbers.

Finally, from the Ransom article linked above, we see the ultimate fallacy of the recently released BLS unemployment numbers:

Just using the average participation rate of 65.8 percent since 1980 supplied by Zero Hedge, there are 4.4 million workers missing from the work force. Zero Hedge predicts that if the BLS keeps dropping the workforce number at the current rate, unemployment will hit zero just prior to the general election no matter how many jobs Obama “saves”.
It won’t surprise anyone that as of December, the real implied unemployment rate was 11.4% – basically where it has been ever since 2009 – and at 2.9% delta to reported, represents the widest divergence to reported data since the early 1980s.

    And because we know this will be the next question, extending this lunacy, America will officially have no unemployed, when the Labor Force Participation rate hits 58.5%, which should be just before the presidential election.

“Waiter? Can we please get some steak sauce to go with this “Obama special” beans and rice dinner?”

Note: Please see Warren Beatty’s excellent article  on true U/E numbers.