Gallup CEO: "America's 5.6% Unempoyment Is One Big Lie"

Tyler Durden's picture

The biggest threat to a corrupt regime is when truth moves away from the "conspiracy theory" fringes and into the mainstream. Which is why we thank Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, for daring to tell the truth to those who care to listen.

Posted first on LinkedIn

The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment

Here’s something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.

I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.

And since we never tired of showing the "job recovery", here is what Clifton is talking about visually.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
unplugged's picture

WTF? A lie? No way!

lester1's picture

Face it, 30+ years of Reaganomics and job outsourcing has lead to this horrible economy we have today !!

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Only way they didn't know this was by reading M$M bullshit instead of real news. Calling John Williams, pickup on line 1.

Richard Chesler's picture

I felt a great disturbance in the Farce.

nope-1004's picture

The unemployment rate isn't the only lie.


Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

How dare this man Gallup speak the truth.

Off with his head.

Four chan's picture

i havent worked since dvds replaced vhs. but that was a nafta thing.

NoDebt's picture

This article is still well within the bounds of acceptable dissent.  And they left off the part about his call for a government works/stimulus program to aid the middle class and long-term unemployed.

(I made up that last part but would you really be all that surprised if he had?  Always consider the source of an article.)


Apply Force's picture

I haven't figured out why John William's Shadow Stats isn't in the left sidebar of Zero Hedge Reads... Seems like a good fit for the blog theme (and an adjunct to this post).

new game's picture

the problem is that people don't even understand that it is NOT the gubmnts issue what-so-ever to manipulate employment levels. they are the problem. now, the federal reserve, well that is a whole nother thesis. but, they are even a bigger problem with their FALSE DUAL mandate, which we all know is pure fucking bullshit.

Liberal's picture

As a staunch liberal, I am outraged that the Bush administration has been lying through their teeth all these years.

Obama in 2016!

boogerbently's picture

If you used up all your unemployment benefits, but still don't have a job, you are not counted in the official "unemployment number".

Son of Loki's picture

" There's never been a better time then now !"


No ?

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

Serious question: Why are tax revenues up so high?  Semi serious question: is the tax revenue collected a lie, is the the Fed secretly transfering printed money to the Treasury, laundered to look like it is tax revenue.  If I was pulling the strings and lying, might as well go all the way.   Pay gov bills with printed money but made to look like tax revenue and get to say the economy is doing great.  Or is there another explanation for the hight tax revenue, like high capital gains from stocks that are manipulated higher by the Fed?   Either way the Fed is causing the increase in Federal Tax Dollars collected.

eclectic syncretist's picture

With the market manipulated up strongly look for an even bigger lie when January's employment numbers come out.  The manipulation will continue as long as possible, right up until it doesn't work anymore.  The reserve status of the US dollar is being protected at all costs right now, and TPTB are getting desperate.

Publicus's picture

TPTB's plan is the reduction of the population.

boogerbently's picture

That would only be beneficial if they removed the underachiever/entitlement part of the population.

They need the rest of us to keep buying their stuff.

OpTwoMistic's picture

Have you not noticed the homeless disappearing?

fallout11's picture

"Carribean banking centers" buy a sizeable portion of all treasury offerings, and hold a major portion of outstanding US debt. This is really just printing money out of thin air.....they are proxies for extend and pretend.
"Taxes" are now only a tiny portion of actual spending. Much as the Kings of England could not resist spending themselves into penury and issuing more and more tally sticks, so America now simply debases its currency directly.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Tax revenues are higher because of an increase in capital gains taxes due to the gains in the stock 'market' this year. That's part of it. Even though the real economy is hollowed out, the money printers have assured a good year for the S&P. another part is the proposed tax increases that keep coming up. That encourages profit taking, since if your taxes may go up another 15% next year, why not cash out now. For these , and several other reasons, the numbers are a farce. Its not sustainable. It's not real, and it's definetely not because we have a healthy, growing economy.

markovchainey's picture

Dang it Liberal, you made me snarf milk out my nose! 

Yes_Questions's picture



pfft: I almost pee'd my limousine.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

Count me down for drafting Obama and Biden 2016- no way they ought to be allowed to just walk away when the wheels fall off, let America put a face on what the word "inimical" means as in the famous quote..

"The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class; while on the other hand the great body of people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system will bear its burdens without complaint and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests."..


Ying-Yang's picture

In addition to the Unemployment Big Lie...

Many employed by profitable companies have been dumped to Obamacare by discontinuing company healthcare plans.

Many have had no raises for years while being told inflation is running ONLY 2-3%.

Many could find work elsewhere except offshoring and immigration keeps employers flush with applicants while crying they can't find trained people to fill jobs. Bullshit.... companies used to train new employees.

This baby is going down when people can't feed their families. Keep it up 1% asswipes and the hungry will come looking.

Omen IV's picture

The Poseur as POTUS - The Lyin Liar who Lies for a Living !!!!!

nightwish's picture

Clifton better be careful - He'll be part of the unemployment numbers if he doesn't tow the line using "official" narratives

Osmium's picture

Fkr will probably get fined just Like S&P for the downgrade of the USSA

Stackers's picture

Gallop to be investigated by DOJ ......

Ignatius's picture

And gold is down.  It's good to see some confirmation.

onewayticket2's picture

unfortunately, there's a nailgun in your future, mr. ceo.  


Bob's picture

Yeah, wtf, Gallup of all mouthpieces?

That's a major rogue move there. 

max2205's picture

But but GPD is at all time highs.... does not compute 

NidStyles's picture

Doesn't matter, no one reads anymore anyways.

thamnosma's picture

Off topic but not that much:


Investigator: Draft of arrest warrant for Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner found at dead prosecutor's home - @nytimes
ZerOhead's picture

Yup... this is going to help Israel in getting America to bomb Iran.

BUENOS AIRES — Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor whose mysterious death has gripped Argentina, had drafted a warrant for the arrest of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, accusing her of trying to shield Iranian officials from responsibility in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here, the lead investigator into his death said on Tuesday.

It certainly doesn't help that Cristina herself has said that she believed he was murdered... anyway this should be on all MSM channels tonight

Bob's picture

Damn, I know what I'm unleashing here, but I just had to look:  Yeah, he was Jewish. 

Some of the most righteous guys I have ever known have been Jews. 

Maybe this guy wasn't one of them. 

ZerOhead's picture

Everybody is taking orders from people higher up the food-chain. They are all pawns in a much larger game so remember that 99%+ of all Jews, Muslims, Christians, Satanists etc. have nothing to do with the giant shitshow you see going on.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

.." have nothing to do with the giant shitshow you see going on"..

Essactly!.. I wish people would realize that all decent men are ashamed of the government they live under, and that great observation by HLM is timeless because it is dead on accurate.

People living in other repressive states shouldn't be put in the same box as their tormentors any more than we should be responsible for the farce here at home.


Hype Alert's picture

Another $1.5 billion settlement coming up.

Ward cleaver's picture

And ensuing lawsuit/and monetary fine.
S&P lawyers can help with PR . Also, everyone
knows this and nobody pays attention to that number
but obozo disciples.

SWRichmond's picture

The unemployment rate isn't the only lie.


A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

This is another very very big lie...but it is the one that the skimmers would like everyone to believe: the idea that your self worth as a person is tied to your ability to produce wealth and pay taxes.  If you are a government or a bank and make your bread by skimming from other people's productivity, then this is what you want people believing.

While I confess to once believing this, I don't believe it anymore.

Back to reloading...

Bollixed's picture

A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity --

Well, as someone who works in the basement of an outhouse I can tell you it sometimes feels that way.

Bob's picture

+1 cuz it's all I have to give.

it's good to see you back from that period of zh semi-retirement, btw, swr.  

Deathrips's picture


Cheers Richmond!


Independence is my raised bar as well.



GCT's picture

Nope another MSM outlet this morning the NY post has an article up about all the lies.

Maybe ina place far far away the sheeple are starting to wake up!!!!!  I wonder how the pundits that come here to down vote or troll will spin this one!!!

Captain Kink's picture

the fact that it's in the NY Post is great. He's educating a lot of people.

Down to Earth Thinking's picture

and this is well past tardy, as in a bit late  ? 

walküre's picture

Life has never been greater for the 0.001% !!!