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Guest Post: Presto! 9.4% Unemployment! How The Government Lies.

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Silver Shield from Don't Tread on Me

Presto! 9.4% Unemployment! How The Government Lies.

Hooray…Happy days are here again!

That is exactly what the elite would have us believe with the 9.4%
unemployment number in this huge CONfidence game otherwise known as the

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” -George Orwell

We were having dinner at my in-law’s house and I had overheard the
TV playing in the back ground.  At one point, I thought I had heard the
squealing of teenagers who were fawning over Justin Beiber.   Instead,
it turned out that it was someone on the news reporting the new,  much
lower 9.4% unemployment rate.  I could hear the panting of excitement
spoken by the breathless reporters who were interviewing very serious
economists about this new 9.4% rate.  The news aired their personal
interest piece about a girl who was just hired at an internet company.
She commented with the utmost confidence that the economy was getting
better!!   You have all heard that saying, “it is a recession when your
neighbor loses a job, but when you lose a job it is a depression.”
Well, according to her, we are out of her depression.

But alas, this is all a dream and the media is using their very
best, tried and true propaganda to keep the people from getting too
upset with reality.  Let me just state that the real rate of
unemployment is much, much more than the 9.4% and if the government
really reported what was really going on, there would be
revolution in the morning.  Allow me to destroy this fictional 9.4%
number and the billion dollar propaganda machine that provides cover
for the trillion dollar banking and government schemes.   I will accomplish this magical feat with writing a blog post in my pajamas.  That is real magic!

“There are three types of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.” -Mark Twain.

The first thing we need to understand is the birth/death model
It is an estimate/lie that the Bureau of Labor Statistics starts with
to figure out how many jobs small companies have created.

Since so many jobs in this country are created by small companies,
they pull numbers out of a hat to start with.  This is a total guess
that constantly gets manipulated to hide the truth.  Literally 250,000
jobs can be created out of thin air.

The rest of the number is determined from a survey.  The BLS’s number
showed an overall increase of +103,000 jobs.(Can you hear my sarcastic
Whoopie!?) The economy needs to create 250,000 a month just to keep up
with the growth of the population.   A household survey showed an
increase of +297,000 jobs and -260,000 fewer people in the labor force. 
This combined into a drop of 9.8% to 9.4%.

The majority of those jobs are all of those “awesome” seasonal jobs
during the Christmas season that will be going away now that we are in
the new year.  This little bump happens every year and is touted as a
great development.  Actually, it is sad that in our consumer economy,
we have to hire part-time workers to handle the hoards of debt slaves
as they spend their way into oblivion.  I wish it was seasonal work at a
factory like hiring a third shift at a plant actually producing
something.   Moving on…

The next big thing we need to understand is the labor force participation rate.
It reflects people between the ages of 18-64 years old, who are
actually working or looking for work.  This does not include students,
moms, retired, and now more importantly people not even looking for
jobs.  The decline in the labor participation rate is becoming a cancer
as people have been unemployed for a long time and entire industries
are gone for good.  The labor participation rate is usually around
67-68%, but has just reached a fresh 25 year low of 64.4%.  This means
on average, the unemployment numbers are lowered by 2.6-3.6% simply
because the eligible pool is dropping.

have now heard of the 99ers.  They are people at the end of their 99
week of unemployment benefits/hush money.  Well let’s get into our
little time machine and travel back 99 weeks ago.  That would have been
smack dab in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis that set off this
huge mess.  So people who still have not found a job since the economy
turned for the worst in 2008 do not count.  We know
that the crisis may have started two years ago but the firings did not
happen right away as people tried to hang on.  We can expect this
decline in the labor participation rate for sometime, hiding some of
the pain out there.

government does keep track of these discouraged workers in another
unemployment number. ( Although they do not have their minions in the
press shout it from the top of their lungs.)  The U-6 number measures
the 9.4% unemployed number from above plus short term
discouraged workers and people working part time because they cannot
find suitable employment.  This underemployment rate the government
admits to is 19%.  Wow, that is a much scarier number but like the
commercials say, “but wait, there’s more!”   If you added in long term discouraged workers that the government dropped from their number in 1994, you would have close to 25% unemployment.

25% unemployment should be torches and pitch fork numbers. We have been so thoroughly enslaved that people are more excited about American ‘Idle’

The unemployment nightmare does not stop there.  What about all of
those good paying jobs that are gone forever like in finance, housing,
manufacturing, etc.?  If you lose a $100k job in one of those industries
and you get the only job you can working at Costco of $25k a year, then
you are employed according to the unemployment number.  What is not
shown, is the quality of the jobs that are out there.  When you see
5,000 people applying for an $8 an hour job at Walmart, something is
seriously wrong.

Another factor you will not hear in the main stream media is how many of the jobs that are out there are government jobs.  Nationally, if you include federal, state and local workers, the Government employs 17% of the work force
This growth in government jobs is hiding probably another 8-10%.  Now I
do not need to go into the fact that economically these workers provide
very little to the overall economy.  Right now there are more people in
the government than in the manufacturing economy.

“Yeah, but government jobs are “good paying jobs.”  The government produces nothing
and its only source of income is the productive efforts of those in the
real world, like you.  The real sick thing is an average government
employee makes again on average, when you include their benefits, TWICE of what the average civilian makes.  This is an unsustainable situation, to say the least.

Here’s another factor that is hidden from you.  What about all of
those companies and industries that received  government contracts or
even worse, got bailed out through the government largesse?  How many of
the private sector jobs were as a result of more government spending?

So let’s break this down.

If we added to the official 9.4% unemployment rate to all of the short and long term
discouraged unemployed, the underemployed, the retired, the moms, the
babies, the government workers, the bailed out industries, the heavily
subsidized farmers, the private government contractors, etc.,  we are
just left with you and me that provide anything of value in
this country.  Since I am in my pajamas and on my second cup of coffee, I
think we can even rule me out.

So get back to work!

The world’s paper ponzi scheme depends on you depends on you. 


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Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:03 | Link to Comment Everyman
Everyman's picture

This is why we are gong to have waves of lunatics shooting congressmen.  I have posted about this so many times, I am sick of it.  TPTB had better start changing their views and quit lying to the United States populace.



Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:08 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

What do our elected public servants expect to happen to them when they manufacture utter hopelessness for such a large scale of our population?

20%+ unemployment. Families being foreclosed on by the millions. No hope of productive prosperous lives for millions of young people. 43+ million people on food stamps. Out of control inflation in the price of education, healthcare, food and energy, etc.

Bailouts and laws passed to benefit the rich wealthy elite and special interests. Putting we the people under a constant state of surveillance, getting the US into senseless wars killing and maiming many of our men on the battlefield and bankrupting our country chasing the boogieman.

Public servants refusing to discuss real issues of importance to many of us like the controlled demolition of building 7, Agenda 21, Codex Alimentarius, the police state feeling us up and irradiating us at airports, leaving the corporate controlled media in charge of the talking point memos and continually trying to socially engineer freedom out of our lives, etc.

Our elected servants have given the American people more than enough reasons to take matters into our own hands exacting our own form of justice because our government delivers none on our behalf. No banksters jailed for fraud and ruining our economy and our lives etc.

The French people had a unique way to deal with unruly public servants, guillotines!  It will come to guillotines and the killing of many more public servants if they don't get on the side of Main Street Americans real soon and respect our Constitution.

The American people need no more reasons, given to us by our elected servants, to take matters into our own hands. It is amazing we have been so restraind, giving them the benefit of the doubt for so long. No more. What is going to happen now has been 100% expected and there is nothing the control freak government can do about it.

What do they expect? When people lose everything, they lose it.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:12 | Link to Comment monopoly
monopoly's picture

Well said Michael. +1

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:31 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Exactly.  The mainstream print and television media is in the hands of a handful of corporations, and has been for the better part of 30 years.   They have brainwashed millions of human beings into only thinking of themselves as consumers/producers, you are what you own, gotta keep up with the Jones'.  Now they want to transition the 'developed world' back into debt slavery, under the guise of austerity measures and 'green' initiatives.

 But what is really scary is that the process of turning masses of people into consumers/producers is just starting up in India and China.  If you ever get the chance to watch Indian or Chinese TV, pay attention to the commercials.  Now realize these are cultures that have not been nearly as exposed to TV as the West, and they are being exposed to highly developed propaganda techniques from the first minute of their TV viewing experience.  On the upside, converting citizens of India and China to Consumerism may induce them to sell their gold in order to buy useless consumer crap.

Check out our latest PsychoNews story: Signs of the Apocalypse

Mass animal deaths have been reported in atleast 30 seperate incidents taking place across 10 countries.  Dead birds, dead fish,  dead former military consultants...

While it is abundantly clear that all of the animal deaths could not have been caused by fireworks, the mainstream media has been slow to suggest alternative theories.  Luckily PsychoNews has no qualms  about filling the void!  Lets be serious, these animal deaths are likely linked to the testing of military technology.  The real question is whether chemical/biological weapons are being tested, or something more exotic, such as energy weapons. 

What is also  interesting is that China has recently announced they have been working on the J20, a prototype of a stealth fighter.  While publicly America's most advanced aircraft is the F22, it seems unlikely that it is the most advanced weapons system actually available.  The American Military-Industrial Complex could well be sending a message to China...

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:44 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

I don't buy the whole poison gas theory, unless said gas was genetically targeted (which I assume is possible - but on the out side edge of possibility), because the damage was done to only specific species.

Not to mention the source of the poison gas story is the KGB (GRU), as likely a source of misinformation as any other. 

I suspect the deaths of the fish is more related to BP than poison gas.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:04 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

I don't particularly rate it highly either, just higher than 'unexplained blunt trauma' and fireworks, and the other BS that has been thrown out there. 

But if the deaths have been as species specific as reported it seems likely to me that it could well have been energy weapons, operating on specific frequencies, which resulted in the animal deaths, either as a side effect, or less likely, as the primary purpose.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:26 | Link to Comment Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Bp is so last summer. They pulled all stories off the media prior to elections. I have not heard one mention of it in msm. So maybe it never happened.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 07:10 | Link to Comment Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

genetically targeted (which I assume is possible - but on the out side edge of possibility),


It in not only possible today but has been around for many years. In the mid 80s they explained to 'us' how they could target things like blue eyes and kill everyone on the planet who had that trait. No way to hide from it either as it takes a small amount of the agent to spread worldwide. The one thing that still sticks in my mind today was how they always stressed that 'all' weapons ever created had at some time been used.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 13:45 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

right, I wasn't questioning the possibility of the technology, just... why blackbirds and drum fish?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:04 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

The MSM is easy to figure out these days. Blatantly bias, the same old recycled talking point memos(boring), and spinning everything into a human interest story. The MSM is virtually useless and being made irrelevant by the Internet where people now get their real scoop on the story.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:19 | Link to Comment Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

For those wondering about Codex Alimentarius

I viewed this video sometime ago and is the best dissertation I have seen regarding the subject.

scary shit !!!

It will blow your mind !!

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:46 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

The Arizona shooter sounds like a product of Agenda 21 which causes the deliberate dumbing down of America.

Agenda 21 For Dummies


Sun, 01/09/2011 - 16:34 | Link to Comment flacon
flacon's picture

I found out over Christmas that my sister-in-law is doing research for Codex Alimentarious (World Health Org). Yikes!

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:44 | Link to Comment G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"What do our elected public servants expect to happen to them when they manufacture utter hopelessness for such a large scale of our population?"

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:16 | Link to Comment iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

-1, I won't junk you for effort..

First of all we don't elect anything.. Check a box, punch a chad, or put a check.. Its all fodder. Sedation pills and Circus..

America is an alloy of europe.


What do they expect? When people lose everything, they lose it.


What do you expect? All it is, is recycling.. wash, rinse, repeat..

that's all there is..

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 12:48 | Link to Comment Thomas
Thomas's picture

In my 2009 Year in Review I focused a lot on civil unrest; maybe that time is coming. What is also true is that civil unrest in the modern day US seems to have the potential for a more knarly facade than compared with some place like Greece where they seem to just yell and scream a lot.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:13 | Link to Comment HellFish
HellFish's picture

Michael, ya had me.  i was right there with ya until you started with " controlled demolition of building 7, Agenda 21, Codex Alimentarius"



Sun, 01/09/2011 - 16:59 | Link to Comment ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

As cold as it is say this, the threat of assasination is perhaps the only thing the elites in the halls of power really fear. The mass of sheeple that make up the general population is no worry. They are easily controlled and distracted by "bread and circuses". It's the loner gunman who comes out of nowhere that can't be predicted and can't really be prevented.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 19:43 | Link to Comment Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

+1000.  Notice the media isn't told by their puppet masters to tell everyone the jobs aren't coming back anymore.  Like there is anything we need made in china except magnets and fireworks.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:06 | Link to Comment sgorem
sgorem's picture

BRAVO, A+, EXCELLENT, TOTAL AGREEMENT........this is for Michaeals earlier comment................

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 10:54 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

This is why we are gong to have waves of lunatics shooting congressmen.  I have posted about this so many times, I am sick of it.  TPTB had better start changing their views and quit lying to the United States populace.

Lulz.  How do you think Gerald Celente feels?  BTW, did you see that Obama's Commerce Secretary (Gary Locke) is looking into creating an internet ID for all Americans?  We are thick with fascism.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 16:00 | Link to Comment Bagbalm
Bagbalm's picture

The much more scary next stage is that perfectly sane rational people start shooting Congressmen and other officials because they realize there is no other way to see change.

Imagine if people with incurable cancer saw shooting a Fed as a last gift to the living before they checked out. What are you going to do to them?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:09 | Link to Comment monopoly
monopoly's picture

Excellant synopsis. How is it possible that so many sheeples just believe what our govt. and MSM tell them. Are we turing into a land of idiots who will never help make the sacrifices that must happen to reset the system. I feel like many are on an alien planet, brains washed and just moving to a specified theme.

I have been at this for a lot of years, am not especially intellectual, nor gifted like Jobs or Gates, but I read, I try to understand, and I listen. It is not that difficult. Just goes to show what denial will do in any circumstance.

And the market will move higher for a few more months maybe. And then, when the curtain drops on the final act......

All is well, ring the bell.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:30 | Link to Comment Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

If Obama were a repub, ABC, NBC and CBS would be going nuts with "Depression II" stories.  I'm old enough to remember how anxious they were to pump out stories about the homeless in '81 and '82 at the worst stretch of Reagan's first term.  They think everyone's too stupid to know how bad it is without them saying so and so they'll do what they can to cover for Barry.  Sadly, there's some truth to that point of view.


Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:46 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

If  you think this is still about the democrat/republican dichotomy you have some learning to catch up on

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:11 | Link to Comment Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I agree TC.  They would treat any Repub like they treated Bush; anything to get "access" and no scary stories but the administration's constructed fear message du jour.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:48 | Link to Comment Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Of course it's not entirely about that but if you think that's not part of what determines how they're covering unemployment under Obama, you're deep in a dream. 

Watch Brian Willams' (nbc's nightly news anchor) comically obsequious interviews of Obama and try to tell yourself that he'd be just like that with Bush.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 16:34 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Stop, just stop..  Some of these people have bought so deeply into "there is no difference" meme and I cannot find any side that serves me better you are wasting your time.  Intellectually lazy will not, cannot be fixed or argued against.   The simple use of personal memory serves to illustrate the completely biased nature of the press reporting and hence the nations response to individual messages.  Using that as an example will get you nowhere as these people have been led to apathy, trained for apathy. 

What is interesting is their militant tone in deriding any substantial difference between the parties that wish to lead us.  Of course the Republicans have been captured by certain industries as the Democrats have been by their patrons.  However, if I had to choose just based on what industries control which factions I could still make a choice based on only that information irregardless of the party platform or past performance. 

I am starting to think the fruitcakes with the flouride theory may be onto something, as a theory mind you, otherwise the millions on wells would have revolted already.. 

Speaking of the media the brilliant Iowahawk does it again

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 18:33 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

60 minute's useless interview with the Bernanke... It is the lame ass excuse for "investigative" reporting that the MSM has become that is the real problem.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:38 | Link to Comment Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

In the 80s you had hope. Jobs came back as the recessions ended. Jobs we lost and will never get back. Family supporting blue collar jobs.

Education costs have soared 400% since 1980 For college, and jobs would be there when graduated

Money could get a very good yield and return without buying stocks.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:40 | Link to Comment Malcolm Tucker
Malcolm Tucker's picture

In light of all the negativity today I found this to be very inspiring:


Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:10 | Link to Comment Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Well done.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:11 | Link to Comment ZEITGEIST
ZEITGEIST's picture

Soon the charade will be over....and the fireworks will start...

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:52 | Link to Comment Chris Jusset
Chris Jusset's picture


"Soon the charade will be over ... "

If the true state of the US economy were known to the masses, the stock & bond markets would collapse, most banks would fold, unemployment would skyrocket  ... and the revolution (fireworks) would start ...

As such, the gov has no choice but to keep the charade going at full steam, at maximum strength, and with all the stops pulled out.


When this sucker finally goes down, it will be EPIC ...


Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:29 | Link to Comment RichardP
RichardP's picture

Do you think the masses are actually holding up the stock and bond markets?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 03:29 | Link to Comment Chris Jusset
Chris Jusset's picture

LOL ... good point ... I'll ask Ben Bernanke and get back to you ...

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:28 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

<Grannis thinks that Quantitative Easing is working. I don't, but that debate depends on the definition of "work".>

Next: a mildly heated discussion between M'ish and Grannis defining "and".

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:16 | Link to Comment Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Food stamps keep rising every month so we know people keep getting poorer. Quite frankly it's a god dam miracle we haven't completely collapsed yet. Our foreign invasions must be the key to dollar hegemony. Without foreign conquest I think our system would go tits up over night. 

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:23 | Link to Comment eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

Calm down. The unemployment rate is only 9.4% not 39.4%. We have along way to go before total collapse

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:33 | Link to Comment Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Well, as pointed out above, the unemployment rate isn't really 9.4% it's more like 25% and that's a hell of a lot closer to whatever you consider to be the number that means total collapse, isn't it?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 18:02 | Link to Comment amusedobserver
amusedobserver's picture

But not very far to go to nominal full employment.

If adding 100,000 jobs drops the U3 rate 0.4 points, then adding back just 1 million of the 8 million jobs we lost in the last two years gets us down to 5% unemployment and the economy is cooking.

I'm thinking of applying to BLS for a cushy gov't job.  Think I've got a chance?  If they hire me it'll probably knock another tenth of a point off the rate.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:18 | Link to Comment eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

So what? The dollar was still strong and PMs still got nuked on Friday. Fundamentals have nix to do with the market.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:48 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture


Except in the Great Wht N:

OSK.TSE green

AVR.TSE green

SMF.TSE green like butter on the sea shepherd

"I know, it's hard to swallow. It must seem too far-fetched..." 

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:41 | Link to Comment Zero Debt
Zero Debt's picture

Thin air here, thin air there, thin air everywhere!

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 00:55 | Link to Comment RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

It really doesn't matter what the reported number is, or if it is really factual or not.

All that matters is how the institutional investors react.

They are either buying the news or selling it.

If the price is going up, buy.

If the price is going down, sell.

It's really that simple.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:32 | Link to Comment thecoloredsky
thecoloredsky's picture

Correct me if I am wrong as I'm a novice investor, but generally things go down when the price is high and vice versa things tend to go up when the price is low. Am I missing something RT?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:45 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

You are missing something, stocks that are high tend to go higher...cut your losers and stay with your winners. Interestingly enough, more than a few folks take the opposite approach, holding onto their losers, hoping they will come back, and selling their winners, thinking  that they can't go any higher, which is a great way to miss 10 and 100 bangers...

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 15:29 | Link to Comment MichaelNY
MichaelNY's picture

Nope.  You're missing something about RT.  ;-)

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:13 | Link to Comment Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Just like in the last depression.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 13:46 | Link to Comment Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

We get it, you're a momentum trader.  I guess we should all be doing it since it works so well for you.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:21 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

I said this before, but do you think it will "matter" when you are hauled from your office and hung from a lamp-post along with many of the others who have profited from the destruction of these United States?

Or is that bullish too?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:10 | Link to Comment BankRiot
BankRiot's picture

Anyone notice that you can no longer post synonymously on Yahoo?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:59 | Link to Comment The Count
The Count's picture

Between Yahoo, Google and Facebook the government can create a complete profile of any of us computer using types. The way they do it is serve the CEO a subpoena that he will have a conversation with the federales, the contents of which may not even be discussed with counsel, and then make it clear that when requested they better provide any and all info on users they want because it is a 'national security' issue. 

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 01:11 | Link to Comment BankRiot
BankRiot's picture


Sun, 01/09/2011 - 02:42 | Link to Comment boeing747
boeing747's picture

Our system was designed to be 'checked and balanced', where is 'checking' function nowaday? Instead, we have Cats protecting mice and watching dogs not able to bark.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 19:49 | Link to Comment Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

Ashcroft covered lady Justice's breast and Sandra Day O' Connor took off her blindfold.  Lady Justice has been missing ever since

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 03:00 | Link to Comment boeing747
boeing747's picture

Well, only Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich still knock Uncle Ben's cabin door, who else?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 05:05 | Link to Comment bk1037
bk1037's picture

I agree with some of the economists who argue that a better measure of employment is the labor participation rate, but then layered in such a way to know that it isnt only BS jobs that are propping up the employment. Any rates the government cites have been identified in a number of circles as being controverisal and unreliable since the people quoting and assembling the data have a vested interest in a perceived positive outcome. 

The 2 America dichotomy continues, although I am certainly no John Edwards fan. There are so many reasons why this situation has developed, but I will never be naive again to accept what the government publishes at face value. The sad fact that no one has ever even be indicted in the great Ponzi scheme of the Great recession speaks volumes to the banana republic we now find ourselves in. I can't in good conscience fly the flag right now, not due to the military but to the TPTB here (along with the power brokers behind the scenes).

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 06:11 | Link to Comment sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

The government does keep track of these discouraged workers in another unemployment number. ( Although they do not have their minions in the press shout it from the top of their lungs.)  The U-6 number measures the 9.4% unemployed number from above plus short term discouraged workers and people working part time because they cannot find suitable employment.  This underemployment rate the government admits to is 19%.  Wow, that is a much scarier number but like the commercials say, “but wait, there’s more!”   If you added in long term discouraged workers that the government dropped from their number in 1994, you would have close to 25% unemployment.

Good to see that someone picked up on the U-7 number.  It's about as bottom-of-the-barrel as one can get with unemployment statistics. 


Odd that it was coincidentally dropped about the same time NAFTA got enacted.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 07:41 | Link to Comment dcb
dcb's picture

I'm not sure that all of the data is entirely accurae, but I don't reject the overall theme. considering we had much higher corporate taxes and a better economy years ago I may dispute some things. the real issue to me is that the uber wealthy are reaping a disproportionate benefit from the system. the system is structurally set up so they can become more wealthy as the overall economy suffers. the end result will be collapse as wealth becomes ever more concentrated. I don't believe is the government taking excessive amounts of money, but things like living wages, are impt. HFT tax, no tax relief for corporate debt, ceo pay that aligns the economy and long term shareholdr value instead of gutting a company. that sort of thing.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 09:10 | Link to Comment Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

What about workers here on work visa programs? H1b, Lx, etc. Does anyone know if they count as employed people? I've heard estimates of over 1M tech jobs taken by visa holders. And with 2-3M US tech workers unemployed, that can't be good.  H1b visas are good for 6 years. Ha, Tech, that was supposed to be the jobs of the future. To bad the politicians gave them all away. All this talk about educating our way out of this mess. Educate for what jobs exactly? A nation of Walmart greeters?

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:11 | Link to Comment pitz
pitz's picture

Yup.  Americans, in record numbers, studied technology in the late 1990s and 2000s.  Yet when the technology industry started to recover in 2004-2005 or so, the only people hired, for the most part, were foreigners on H1-B's. 

Walk the halls of Google, Cisco, Microsoft or Qualcomm, in the USA, and basically, you will think you're in a foreign country.  Meanwhile Americans send these companies literally millions of resumes per year and barely a single one gets read by a human.



Sun, 01/09/2011 - 09:26 | Link to Comment hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

Unemployment rates are facts. The importance of one or another U7 of or 9.4% will remain fact until a better metric for unemployed or underemployed is available. The value of employment is certainly the key issue for GDP. Wal-Mart workers produce nothing, they only sell what someone else produces. GDP includes the value added component of a $1 foreign manufactured bucket being sold for $2.50 in Wal-Mart.

Point is, the numbers are consistent with a military industrial complex that needs to conquer and exploit in order to protect living standards.

Russia went broke using this model, America is going broke using this model. Singapore has the succesful model that America thinks it has. That of a successful city state. America's cities are broke and don't trade, they sell other peoples goods, just like the Avon lady.

The wilful suppression of brains by using the military industial model, combined with the extortion by criminal (as defined by the transfer of general economic wealth for no value creation) syndicates within banks and law firms condemns the country to poverty and the same (at best) eventual living standards as Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Shrugs, we all know this and we all want the game to continue as is, no change, because after all, none of us has the answers.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 10:19 | Link to Comment voltaic
voltaic's picture

John Mauldin says that the unemployment report was even BETTER than advertised. From his newsletter:

December Unemployment Better than Headline

I know that everyone expects me to tell them that the headline number of 103,000 was too soft. And on the surface they would be right. But there were revisions of a plus 70,000 for the last two months. We have now seen four months of upward revisions in a row. (More on that later.)


And the household survey showed an increase of 297,000 jobs. If you adjust that to match the establishment survey, it would show a surge of 500,000 jobs! Now, the household versus the establishment surveys are extremely noisy, as the following chart from my fishing buddy Stuart Hoffman of PNC shows. Note the wide divergences of the last five months.


At the risk of boring long-time readers, let me address the problem of the unemployment numbers at turning points in the economy. The establishment survey, which is the number we read as the “headline” number, is created by calling up a statistically significant percentage of established businesses every month and asking them how many people they employ. Almost by definition they do not poll small businesses and start-ups, which is where the job creation really happens. They have to make an estimate of those jobs, and this is called the birth/death ratio.


The B/D ratio is based upon past trends. There is no other way to do it. The BLS does its best at guessing the right number in a systematic way. And usually it is not all that bad a guess. Except – except – at turning points in the economy. When the economy starts to recover from recession, they underestimate the number of jobs. When the economy is rolling over into recession, the trends they use force them to overestimate the number of jobs. As the years go by and they get better data, they go back and revise their numbers.


Remember the jobless recovery of the Bush years? A few years later, it turned out that job growth was pretty good, at least compared with the initial estimates. But did anybody care three years later? Did it make the front page of the Wall Street Journal? No, as no one cares a lick about old data.


The key is to watch the direction of the monthly revisions. As noted above, it is now four months of upward revisions. That is a positive. We need that to continue.


The negative is that it will be years before we get back to a 5% unemployment rate. We will need 5-6 years of 2.5 – 3 million jobs a year to get there. We have never done even two years in a row like that. Unemployment is still going to be a headwind for some time to come, and that is likely to keep a lid on incomes, which is not good for final sales. As David Rosenberg notes:


“While the details were obviously better than the headline, it would be a mistake to read much into the unexpected decline in the unemployment rate, which fell to 9.4% from 9.8% – the lowest it has been since May 2009 (when the economy was still technically in recession) and the sharpest one-month decline since April 1998. While some of this ‘decline’ did indeed reflect the rebound in Household employment, it was largely due to the sharp decline in the labor force participation rate, which tumbled to a 27-year low of 64.3% in December from 64.5% in each of the prior two months. The culprit: discouraged workers soared to a new record high of 1.32 million.”


As employment starts to actually rise, people who have give up looking for work will want to come back into the workforce. As they start looking for jobs, they will be counted as unemployed. And then the unemployment number will stay stubbornly high.

A Very Fluid Economy

My friend John Vogel does private analysis of the employment numbers every week and shares the results with a few of us. He did a longer opus this week, talking about the very fluid job picture in the US. If you add up all the initial jobless claims from 2006 through 2009, the number is 83,772,000 lost jobs. Yet during that same period we must have created 81,258,000 jobs, for the BLS numbers to balance. In the last year (11 months), we saw 21,696,000 initial unemployment claims, yet we created 25,893,000 jobs.


We have 130 million people working in the US, but that is down from 137.6 million in 2007, and less than were employed ten years ago, in 2000. But that also means some 15% of all workers had to find new jobs last year, not even counting those who left willingly to go to another job. I seem to remember that if you count the latter, the number goes to some 20% of US workers changing jobs each year.


That seemed rather high to me until I thought about my own seven kids, six of whom are in the workforce. On average for them, 20% change a year (one job every five years) would be rather low. Admittedly, they are young, but it does give some credence to the BLS numbers, which show how fluid the US job market really is.


My deep fear, as we leave this topic, is that we are creating a structurally unemployed or underemployed class of workers, people with skills that are not keeping up with the times or who are chronically undereducated. The McCormick reaper and the tractor put tens of millions of farm workers out of a job, forcing them to go to the cities and learn new skills. Who would want to go back to the 1860s, when the majority of the US population worked on farms? But that was a time of tremendous upheaval. I think we are facing such a time ourselves.

Wrapping up for this week, I think the US grows at 2.5 – 3% GDP this year, with the world doing better and Europe ex-Germany much worse. Much of peripheral Europe may fall into recession.

While I tend to see unemployment as worse than advertised, it's guys like Mauldin that bring the rosy employment picture to the masses. Any thoughts on Mauldin's assessment? Seeing two competing opinions makes the entire discussion a head shaker. 

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:48 | Link to Comment Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

Interesting, that David Rosenberg also had a rather sanguine take on the number.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:52 | Link to Comment Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Of course, to really see positive things in the revised numbers you have to tell yourself that the people who you know lied about the initial numbers certainly wouldn't lie about the revised numbers.  No one who consistently tells a first lie would tell a second one, right?

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 00:23 | Link to Comment Fearless Rick
Fearless Rick's picture

Yeah, I'll take a stab. It's people like John Maudlin, with his "muddle through" rhetoric that are runining the country instead of taking the issues on squarely.

Like this comment:

As employment starts to actually rise, people who have give up looking for work will want to come back into the workforce. As they start looking for jobs, they will be counted as unemployed. And then the unemployment number will stay stubbornly high.


Complete bullshit. Those who have given up looking for work are on welfare, or homeless or in jail. They'll never look for a job again because the government gives them food and a warm bed. welfare and prison are pretty much the same thing. You're under government control. The govt. is creating an enormous underclass of ignorant, lazy worthless non-beings. They don't count as part of the unemployment picture, and they don't count for much else.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 10:25 | Link to Comment JustACitizen
JustACitizen's picture

The point of all this propaganda is that "you, the sheeple are supposed to feel better about "the system"/"the economy"/"Wall Street"/"politicians"/"the elite" (choose one or all) and get out there and spend, spend, spend...then all will be right with the world.

Our leaders are the people we deserve I guess. We were all so busy grubbing for dollars that we left the helm of state to a bunch of puerile adolescents in adult clothing.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 12:28 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

spend spend spend !   SPEND WHAT !!!  $8.50 / hour doesn't get a person very far !   

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 18:27 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Actually, a 1 dollar bullet can turn you into a worldfamous celebrity.

I depends on how you use it.


Sun, 01/09/2011 - 10:55 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

I'm one of the truly lucky ones ...... I have a job !   $8.50/hour baking bread @ PANERA @ 4:30 a.m. !!   .......... I used to have a great retirement account in the stock market, but, the value was cut by almost 1/2 with the market crashes.   I also used to have a house that was valued @ almost $150,000 !   but, being in a rust belt area, I can't even give it away now for $70,000 !    Today, 60 years old, I'm truly blessed by this capitalistic system .........I have a job !!!

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:02 | Link to Comment Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

Remember...TPTB only lie to us because we believe them. We are as much to blame as they are. WE, THE SHEEPLE, are every bit as guilty, because we believe what we are told.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 13:55 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Ya you need to go mind fuck stupid people.

TPTB lie to reduce resistance. To do things under a disguise. Then when the lie crumbles it creates massive resistance all at once. This causes amplified fight or flight reactions. This causes horrible fucking brutality. This gives them an excuse to act horrible and brutal.

This amplification has 2 drawbacks. As they become more effective at the lying the amplifier goes higher and higher. This one goes to 11.

You're mind fuck was dickless, nutless and unsatisfying.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:08 | Link to Comment Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

Aside from the SPINAL TAP homage, your comment is wing nutty. Calm down dude.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 15:06 | Link to Comment RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Typical response from an "armchair anarchist" who is angry and bitter because they lost huge shorting consumer stocks and are experiencing "gloomers remorse" by being overinvested in gold stocks that are going nowhere.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 16:49 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Go suck Bernanke's shriveled left nut, asswipe.

And although you will do so with all possible glee, try not to be too rough on his delicate sack, like you were the last time.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 21:26 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Ya you're not a brilliant analyst. You can read things I write for a fricking year and not glean anything useful to throw at me. Just like you can stare at a chart for a year and not see anything there. You're pure superficial reasoning. As deep as the piss puddle you you'll leave when this thing crashes again.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:05 | Link to Comment ReeferMac
ReeferMac's picture

It's a shame the truth only exists on fringe sites like this...

Society can't improve as long as the masses are dumb, blind and ignorant.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 19:56 | Link to Comment Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

indeed.  I've tried to convince lots of people to buy physical precious metals over the past 4 years and, of the hundreds I've discussed it with, only 1 has purchased ANY with 2 people only now seriously considering it. 

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:55 | Link to Comment The Count
The Count's picture

I have the solution for the unemployed: Go online, create a Delaware Corporation and hire yourself as CEO! Same solution that Ben uses by printing money and buying treasuries with it! Help that stubborn unemployment rate come down and show those naysayers that the f**** recession is over. Move along now. 

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 18:07 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Then apply for a Fed bailout like Verizon or GE...

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 13:22 | Link to Comment something fishy
something fishy's picture

'When you see 5,000 people applying for an $8 an hour job at Walmart, something is seriously wrong.'

This is so true. A friend out of work was telling me about a recent interview for a receptionist job where the manager told her that he had received many resumes from people who were 'way overqualified' in terms of education and experience, my friend included.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 15:13 | Link to Comment voltaic
voltaic's picture

While I appreciate all the effort put into this report, there's one number that seems out of line. I have seen estimates indicating the need to create 100,000-150,000 jobs a month to break even, but I've never seen a 250,000 estimate. Where did that estimate come from?

The economy needs to create 250,000 a month just to keep up with the growth of the population.  

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 18:02 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

I Can Cut Big $$$ From the Federal Deficit...
Fire the B(L)S en masse and contract the work out to John Williams...

More accurate product... Lower price...

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 18:39 | Link to Comment red2893
red2893's picture

I love the great news and bad action....high supply of equities, less demand.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 19:59 | Link to Comment Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

'free trade' has been such a friedmanite blessing to Amerika, hasn't it?  The next wave of wave of 'jobs' will be more war with more suffering after lots more economic suffering to 'soften' up the populace.  The 'service' based economy will take on new meaning.

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