Thursday, March 17, 2011

Washington Post: Real U.S. Unemployment Stands Between 10.5% and 16%

(H/T: Breitbart’s Big Government)

The Post today cleverly calls this country’s unemployment rate a “domestic challenge” to economic recovery, while admitting what most Americans already know. The reality is unemployment figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide the true amount of Americans out of work. There’s a “hidden workforce” according to the Post, yet the only thing hidden is the media’s, (and the government’s), ability to destort these facts—until now.

“Overshadowing the nation’s economic recovery is not only the number of Americans who have lost their jobs, but also those who have stopped looking for new ones.

These workers are not counted in the Labor Department’s monthly unemployment rate, yet they say they are willing to work. Since the recession began, their numbers have grown by 30 percent, to more than 6.4 million, amounting to a hidden labor force that could stymie the turnaround.

Adding these workers to February’s jobless rate pushes it up to 10.5 percent, well above the more commonly cited 8.9 percent rate. An even broader measure of unemployment, which includes people forced to work part time, stands at nearly 16 percent.”
link (emphasis mine)

This story kind of undermines Mr. Morrissey’s report by a WSJ “analysts” that unemployment might be heading down to 7%.

Of course, manipulating sources of information by this administration is nothing new. Recall the figures the Democrats supplied to the CBO when they were trying to keep ObamaCare under a trillion dollars? Does double counting savings from Medicare ring any bells? In the case of real unemployment, the Post calls it “a technical quirk”

“Part of the reason these workers are not factored into the unemployment rate is a technical quirk: Workers are counted as unemployed only if they are actively job-hunting. Otherwise, they are considered outside of the labor force altogether. That means Silver Spring resident Dirk Bos, 42, isn’t technically unemployed, according to the government’s definitions, even though he hasn’t worked since he was laid off from his position as a construction administrator at an architecture firm in 2008. Over a million members of this group have given up looking for work even though they are able to hold a job — people officially designated as “discouraged.” That’s more than double the number at the start of the recession.”

Now what could be the motivation behind the government providing these technical quirks? You guessed it, it’s a political disaster for this next election cycle:

“Bringing these workers back into the labor force could prove to be a tricky problem, both politically and economically. If they begin to seek work in an improving job market, they could increase the unemployment rate. That’s a scenario that will be tough for politicians headed into campaign season to explain, particularly since the rate is being used to excoriate Obama’s administration. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, for example, has made the unemployment rate the centerpiece of what he is now calling the Obama Misery Index.”

Might as well fill out those NCAA office pool brackets and take a Rio vacation. It’s sure to get worse before it gets any better.

Meanwhile, Air-head Burnett* on CNBC reports this morning that “jobless benefits dropped for third time in four weeks—”good news”. Who’s paying these people?

* Air-head is really the lovely Erin Burnett, who’s future appears to be an apprenticeship for a high level government accounting job.