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Lies, Damn Lies, and Unemployment Rates

Isn't it wonderful how miraculously the economy has turned around this year. The unemployment rate, currently at 8.2%, continues to go down. Pretty soon, everyone will have a job. Or not.

There are a few details being left out of the mainstream media reports on unemployment. The percentage of participants in the labor force has been falling much of this decade. The measure of this is the total number of employed divided by the total population. Part of it is early retirement, part are welfare queens, and the vast majority are those dropping out of the work force.

The U.S. has now the lowest percentage of participants in labor force than in the last 30 years, at 64%. And it is still going down this year (Jan, 63.7; Feb, 63.9; Mar, 63.8; Apr, 63.6), even as the reported rate falsely shows improvement. BLS projections for 2020:62%.

Total Population of Germany: 82,000,000

Population of U.S. Not in Labor Force: 88,000,000

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not use this measure. After years of poltical gamesmanship, BLS has been forced by laws to skew the data, using complex formulas that leave much of the truth out of the equation.

Attempts are being made in Congress to end this charade, and change the way they report the data. Sadly, they don't go far enough. One bill currently in the mill changes of official rate from the U-3 measurement (BLS has six -- U-1 to U-6) to the U-5 measure, now at 9.5%. Their U-6 rate is ~15%.

How the Government Measures Unemployment

Bottom line: No one knows the exact unemployment rate, but we do know it is somewhere between the non-participation rate of 36.4% and the BLS U-6 rate of 15%. The midpoint of these two is 25.7%.

Added: May-14-2012 Occurred On: May-14-2012
By: joe prole
Tags: Unemployment rate, Statistics & lies
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 1893 | Comments: 16 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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