Feds Claim Unemployment Dropped to 4.6 Percent, Yet 95 Million are Out of Work

For those of us who are highly suspicious of the accuracy and impartiality of government statistics such as the unemployment rate, the agency producing this number might be referred to the “Department of Much Labored Statistics,” revealing the skepticism we hold regarding the whole process of producing economic statistics.

It is so easy for government agencies to twiddle with the algorithms used to calculate economic statistics, and so beneficial to administrations to get the numbers they desire reported to the public, that it would be a shock if there were not some shenanigans being pulled as these data are created.

Now that you have every reason to disbelieve the latest statistics, here they are:

The national unemployment rate in November fell to 4.6 percent, as the United States economy added 178,000 jobs, according to statistics released by the Labor Department.

Wouldn't you know it.  The number came in very close to what financial analysts expected.  Nothing here to upset the social order.

Here's some more information to consider:

A total of 95,055,000 Americans are not in the work force, up 446,000 since October.

The labor force participation rate ticked down — Now 62.7 percent down from 62.8 percent in October.

Let's just make the wild assumption that all these numbers are accurate.  What caused the decline in the unemployment rate?  More people finding jobs, which would be a good thing?  Or people leaving the workforce, which would be a negative?

The unemployment rate is only relevant to the extent that you can define things like who is in the workforce and how many do not have jobs.

To illustrate the problem, suppose someone gives up searching for a job and just subsists on welfare and the kindness of friends.  Is that person still in the workforce or not?

Another issue involves the “underemployed.”  How should one account for a worker who loses a full-time job earning $70,000 per year, and takes two part-time jobs earning a total of $35,000 to try to get by?

unemployment figures

Combine the problems involved in getting the raw data with the ambiguities over the accuracy of the methods used to calculate these numbers, and you would be wise to be a bit skeptical.  Add to this the likelihood that the administration might order an “adjustment” in the final number to serve its political purpose, and you would be wise to take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Source:  Breitbart



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