Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Will the Bureau of Labor Statistics Ever Tell the Truth?

Arianna Huffington says,"6 million people have now been unemployed for more than six months."

I respect and admire her very much, but I must respectfully disagree with her number of 6 million. I say 14 million. There are 14 million Americans who have been unemployed for almost 3 years...I know, I'm one of them.

There are 14 million unemployed Americans who are frustrated and outraged whenever the media parrots the government-given (U-3) unemployment rate of grossly untrue. The REAL unemployment rate is closer to 20%. Let me explain why...

What's been glaringly absent from all the jobs reports and subsequent reporting is this:

In early 2009 we had over 14 million people unemployed, and 3 years later we still do, that according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the unemployment rate hasn't changed in almost 3 years (consistently hovering around 9%), and we need 150,000 new jobs a month just to break even, how can that be? Especially if we've only created 1 million jobs in the last year? (private sector jobs canceling out the government sector layoffs). That would indicate that no one else was ever laid off from mid-2009 to the present in late 2011. But we know that's not true because we've had new jobless claims every week since early 2009 right up to the present.

In other words, by classifying all these people whose unemployment benefits were exhausted, and then moving them into the U-6 rate as "discouraged workers" (and then not counting them at all later), is grossly under-counting the REAL unemployment numbers.

Half of the unemployed didn't even qualify for UI benefits, and of those who did, about 7 million have already exhausted their UI benefits (I know, I one of them). And they are no longer being counted at all ("exhaustees" and "99ers" are the same, but only 99ers are sometimes referred to because they were in the few states that actually offered the maximum allowable of 99 weeks in benefits).

I submit, that after carefully following this for 3 years, that there are really closer to 21 million unemployed Americans, and another 20 to 30 million that are "under-employed" (those working one or more low-paying part-time jobs...and another reason why there are no jobs at all for the other 21 million who are unemployed).

The real unemployment rate is nearer to an astounding 20% (almost 1 in 5 of the workforce), with many more unemployed than there were during the height of the Great Depression in 1933 (about 12 million).

9% is very (intentionally) misleading. But it's not entirely the media's fault, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics masterfully sugar-coats the REAL numbers and then spoon-feeds them to the matter what political party holds office. The job crisis is far much worse than the government wants the general public to know (a fear of more uprisings perhaps?)

No, I'm not "Chicken Little", and I don't claim that the sky is falling...I'm just pointing out a few facts.

I've been barking at the moon like a madman for the past 3 years about this, but nothing has changed...21 million Americans are still unemployed and barking at the moon too, whenever they hear the media say, "The unemployment rate went down! We created 80,000 new jobs last month, and we had 3,000 less claims last week!!"


But the truth is, the Bureau of Labor Statistics treats the unemployment numbers like people on a conveyor people lose UI benefits (and stopped being counted), new people are being laid off ...until they too fall off the conveyor belt and are no longer being counted by the government any more. That's how the "9%" rate has stayed consistent for the last 3 years. The "job creators" (with $2 trillion sitting idle off-shore) certainly didn't create that many jobs.

* The Bureau of Labor Statistics could easily cross reference the data from State unemployment agencies and the W-4's on file at the Office of Social Security Administration if they ever wanted to expose the REAL unemployment rate.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

In October 2010 about 22.0 million young people were either enrolled in high school (9.6 million) or in college (12.4 million). Of the 3.2 million Americans who graduated from high school in 2010, about 2.2 million enrolled in college, almost tying the record set in 2009. Most were regular full-time students (90.4%). 

So we had about 1 million young people graduating from high school (but not entering college) in the summer/fall of 2008 when the mass layoffs were underway. In May of 2009 we had 14 million unemployed.

In the summer/fall of 2010 we had another 1 million young people graduating from high school (but not entering college). The government is still reporting 14 million unemployed.

And in 2011 we can also assume another 1 million young people will be graduating from high school (but not entering college) as the government is still reporting another 14 million unemployed.
  • How many layoffs in 2009 and how many new jobs? How many government workers lost jobs?
  • How many layoffs in 2010 and how many new jobs? How many government workers lost jobs?
  • How many layoffs in 2011 and how many new jobs? How many government workers lost jobs?

My Forecast for 2012: About 1 million young people will be graduating from high school (but not entering college). 14 million will still be unemployed and the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 9%. No one will have graduated from college or looked for jobs. Only 1 million new jobs were created for the 1 million high school graduates who did not attend college. There were no more layoffs from either the private sector or the public sector. Nothing will have changed, everything will have remained the same...that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Herman Cain says it's our own fault we're unemployed. The Republican's job plan is to cut taxes for the rich and cut food stamps for the poor. If it were up to me, I'd start by freezing and repatriating the $2 trillion American corporations have hoarded away in off-shore banks accounts, money that they would have otherwise been taxed on if it had not been for the Bush tax cuts. Then we could at least start an infrastructure program.

Some idiots even suggested that we all start our own businesses. That's it! Maybe we should all start a corporation, mail out a prospectuses, start up an IPO, get listed on the NYSE, and start selling shares. Then by this time next year we can vote to give ourselves a million dollar bonus and only pay 15% in capital gains taxes, then blame everyone else for not having a job or for not being rich, then lobby congress to cut food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

Then after we've killed off all the poor people, we'll buy a private island and retire. Why not? Everyone else seems to be doing it..

The REAL Unemployment Rate (with numbers and links)

In other news today...

ARE THE BIG BANKS GETTING NERVOUS? - "650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month. Even though the government may keep throwing money at the dinosaurs, the Basel regulations do have some capital requirements, and so the big banks need to bring in some actual deposits to fund their casino gambling. Moreover, if too many depositors leave, the illusion that the big banks are serving the American public will be burst, and a critical mass of consciousness will occur, so that the bank's questioned control over the American political and financial systems will start to be questioned."

Full Story Here:


  1. Here it says 7 million over 2 years:

    "With an estimated three-quarters of the 14 million unemployed Americans out of work for more than six months and fully half out of work for more than two years, many jobless Americans are falling into despair as repeated attempts to find work come up short."

  2. This was posted over a year ago on August 18, 2010

    "Suicide is potentially a very large problem as the recession continues, with 6.6 million Americans out of work for six months or more."

  3. June 13, 2011

    About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months - at its highest since the Great Depression.

  4. December 25, 2010 - Only 1.4 million over 2 years? Bullshit!

    "The Bureau of Labor Statistics will raise from two years to five years the upper limit on how long someone can be listed as having been jobless. Nearly 10% of the USA's 15.1 million jobless have been looking for work for two years or more."

  5. July 14, 2011

    "More than 6.3 million Americans have been out of work for more than half a year. The average jobless stint now lasts longer than nine months."

  6. January 24, 2011

    "There are 1.4 million "very long-term unemployed" who have been out of work for 99 weeks or longer...The 1.4-million figure, calculated using the latest data available as of October, is much smaller than some home-cooked estimates circulated online by advocates for additional weeks of benefits for these "99ers." Some of those estimates are as high as 7 million."

  7. August 8, 2011

    "About 13.9 million Americans remain unemployed, and of those, 44.4% have been out of a job for more than six months."

  8. Match 18, 2011

    Researchers at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) recently estimated that during 2010 there were 3.9 million workers who were jobless when they received their final payment of eligible unemployment insurance. A report last December from the President's Council of Economic Advisors included a projection of roughly the same number of UI exhaustees during 2011.