Unemployment and JackAssery **UPDATED**
I’m going to stray today from my normally politically correct, softball writing and call a spade a spade.
Barack Obama and his US Department of Labor are a bunch of lying whores. (With apologies to sex workers who don’t deserve the comparison.) Their latest exercise in attempting to sell a bill of goods to the American people is their latest pap on unemployment. This is just another exercise in why I don’t trust either statisticians or government employees. Both are congenital liars, to the point where they don’t even realize they’re lying. What never ceases to amaze me is that they are able to use media outlets like The New York Times to smear their pap and the folks at The Times seem to do it with glee in their hearts. I know I shouldn’t be amazed, but the level of gross stupidity and ignorance of even the basic facts – when all the data is numbers – is overwhelming and I expect better, even of products of the re-education camps run under the guise of “schools of journalism”. OK, so much for my whining. And, Mrs908 recommends a fine sharp white cheddar available at Trader Joe’s to go with the 908Whine™.
In an effort to pump up BO’s numbers, here’s the headline in yesterday’s smear: Big Jump in Private Jobs Bolsters Recovery Hopes. And I think that’s an appropriate theme for Mr. Hope’n’Change™. But for information related to the actual state of the economy, it’s a pile of steamy bullstuff. Hold your nose please…
The economic waiting game may soon be over, as businesses signal that they are finally willing to resume widespread hiring.
But for now, the improvement is notable. The unemployment rate ticked down to 8.9 percent last month, falling below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years.
OK, got that? Sounds like we’re on the home stretch, right? Ummm, prolly not. Nine paragraphs into the tale the storytellers get to the heart of the matter.
Economists say the unemployment rate could rise temporarily in the next few months, as stronger job growth lures some discouraged workers to look for jobs again. Right now, just 64.2 percent of adults are actively involved in the work force, meaning they are either in a job or actively looking for one. That is the lowest participation rate in 25 years, an indication that many Americans are either staying home, going back to school, raising children or otherwise waiting for better conditions before applying for work.
The unemployment rate has fallen from a peak of 10.1 percent in this downturn. A broad measure of unemployment, which includes people working part time because they cannot find full-time jobs and those so discouraged that they have given up searching, dipped to 15.9 percent in February, from 16.1 percent in January.
And, to correct an obvious misdirection in the last line of the first paragraph, we’re not talking about people who aren’t “applying for work”, we’re talking about people who aren’t “looking for work”. In the real world, where neither BO or The Times touches down, that’s a big difference. And with respect to the numbers, there are some folks who are calling foul on this interpretation. Like Rick Santelli of CNBC (the Godfather of the Tea Parties) and the folks at Gallup. Before we go to them, let’s take a quick look at a little chart from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This chart represents Worker Participation Rate since 2001. Note the direction of the chart. Bottom line, in 2001, worker participation – people working or looking for work – stood at 67.2%. In January of 2011 it was down to 64.2%.
That picture kind of changes things doesn’t it? What this means is that since 2001 workers have been fleeing the job market like Democratic Senators in Wisconsin or Indiana flee votes. And, please note that the downward trend of the line accelerated in January of 2009. Let’s think about what major event happened in January of 2009. Hmmmm. Oh well.
Here’s what Gallup – who tracks unemployment and whose numbers are consistently higher than the Administration’s – has to say on this subject. I’ll note that they say unemployment is 10.3% not 8.9%.
PRINCETON, NJ — Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, hit 10.3% in February — up from 9.8% at the end of January. The U.S. unemployment rate is now essentially the same as the 10.4% at the end of February 2010.
The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work worsened considerably in February, increasing to 9.6% of the workforce from 9.1% at the end of January. A larger percentage of the U.S. workforce is working part time and wanting full-time work now than was the case a year ago (9.3%).
Underemployment, a measure that combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with those who are unemployed, surged in February to 19.9%. This resulted from the combination of a sharp 0.5-point increase since the end of January in the percentage unemployed and a 0.5-point increase in the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work. Underemployment is now higher than it was at this point a year ago (19.7%).
There is essentially no difference between the unemployment rate now and the one at this time a year ago; January’s rate, in contrast, showed a 1.1-percentage-point year-over-year improvement. This suggests that the real U.S. jobs situation worsened in February. That is, jobs are relatively less available now than in January.
We also learned from the February report that the unemployment rate finally trended below the psychologically important 9 percent mark. This is a very big development, considering the rate was pushing the 10 percent level several months ago.
Upon closer scrutiny though, there is another factor contributing to the drop that is not necessarily good news: The official size of the U.S. labor force is shrinking.
Hopefully the House will have hearings that will be ignored by The Times in order to give the geniuses at the Department of Labor an opportunity to spin this stuff. Once you get outside the beltway though, there really isn’t any spin. Barack spent a trillion dollars plus and the economy isn’t improving and people have stopped looking for work. It’s gonna be really ugly when they find out their 40 years of unemployment benefits are going to run out sooner than they thought.
***** UPDATE 3/5/2011 – 1:26pm MST *****
From Business Today, the US Dept. of Commerce put out an update on the 4th quarter economic growth…
The United States Department of Commerce has unpredictably reduced its guesstimate of 4th quarter growth to an annualized 2.8 percent, from 3.2 percent previously. Analysts had instead anticipated the figure to be revised up somewhat to 3.3 percent.
Lower government expenditure than formerly anticipated was the major reason for the downward revision.
- “Gallup Reports Underemployment Surges To 19.9%, February “Jobs Situation Deteriorates”: As Bad As 2010″ and related posts (zerohedge.com)
- Daily Benefactor News – U.S. Unemployment Hits 10.3% In February: Gallup (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Black Unemployment Rate Continues Slow Decline (newsone.com)
- Don’t Fall for This “Recovery” (economicnoise.com)