Nearly At "Full Employment"? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted byMichael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

On Friday, we learned that the official “unemployment rate” has fallen to 5.5 percent. Since an unemployment rate of 5 percent is considered to be “full employment” by many economists, many in the mainstream media took this as a sign that the U.S. economy has almost fully “recovered” since the last recession.  In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, some Federal Reserve officials believe that “the U.S. economy is already at full employment“.  But how can this possibly be?  It certainly does not square with reality.  Personally, I know people that have been struggling with unemployment for years and that still cannot find a decent job.  And I get emails from readers all the time that are heartbroken because they are suffering through extended periods of unemployment. 

So what in the world is going on?  How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work?  Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading?

It is my contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point.  The following are 10 reasons why…

#1 Since February 2008, the size of the U.S. population has grown by 16.8 million people, but the number of full-time jobs has actually decreased by 140,000.

#2 The percentage of working age Americans that have a job right now is still about the same as it was during the depths of the last recession.  Posted below is a chart that shows how the employment-population ratio has changed since the beginning of the decade.  Does this look like a full-blown “employment recovery” to you?…

Employment Population Ratio 2015

#3 The primary reason for the decline in the official “unemployment rate” is the fact that the government now considers millions upon millions of long-term unemployed workers to “no longer be in the labor force”.  Just check out the following numbers

The number of Americans participating in the labor force has been on a decline for the past few years. Nearly 33 percent of the Americans above age 16 are not part of the workforce, the highest number since 1978. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report issued recently has found 92,898,000 Americans above age 16 not a part of the labor force of the country as on February 2015.


When President Obama took over the office in January 2009, nearly 80,529,000 Americans were not a part of the labor force. The number has increase by nearly 12 million over the last few years.

#4 Over the past couple of years, the labor force participation rate in this country has been hovering near mutli-decade lows

The labor force participation rate hovered between 62.9 percent and 62.7 percent in the eleven months from April 2014 through February, and has been 62.9 percent or lower in 13 of the 17 months since October 2013.


Prior to that, the last time the rate was below 63 percent was 37 years ago, in March 1978 when it was 62.8 percent, the same rate it was in February.

#5 When you add the number of “officially unemployed” Americans (8.7 million) to the number of Americans “not in the labor force” (92.9 million), you get a grand total of 101.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  Does that sound like “full employment” to you?

#6 The quality of our jobs continues to decline.  Right now, only 44 percent of U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week.

#7 Millions upon millions of Americans have been forced to take part-time jobs because that is all they can find, and wages for American workers are at depressingly low levels.  The following numbers come directly from the Social Security Administration

-39 percent of American workers make less than $20,000 a year.

-52 percent of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

-63 percent of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.

-72 percent of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.

#8 The average duration of unemployment for an unemployed worker is still about twice as long as it was just prior to the last recession.

#9 Most Americans feel as though the Obama administration has done little to nothing to help the middle class.  Just consider the following poll numbers

According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, Americans see government policies under the Obama administration as having mostly benefited wealthy people, large corporations and financial institutions.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said government policies have done little or nothing to help the middle class, and 65 percent said they have done nothing to help the poor. Sixty-eight percent said the policies have done nothing to help small businesses.

Meanwhile, 45 percent said the policies have done a “great deal” to help large banks and financial institutions, 38 percent say they have helped large corporations, and 36 percent say they have helped the wealthy.

#10 If the unemployment rate was calculated honestly, we would all be talking about the horrific “unemployment crisis” that we were currently enduring.  According to John Williams of, the real unemployment rate in the United States right now is above 23 percent.

Our politicians and the mainstream media are attempting to convince us that everything is just fine.

But what they are telling us simply does not match the cold, hard reality on the streets.

And since the talking heads on television are proclaiming that we are nearly at “full employment”, that just makes millions upon millions of Americans that can’t seem to find work no matter how hard they try feel even worse than they already do.

If jobs are “easy to get”, then those that are chronically unemployment must have “something wrong” with them.  That is the message that we are being given.  If the mainstream media says that unemployment has gone way down, then anyone that is still unemployed must be really “lazy”, right?

When you are unemployed for an extended period of time, it can really suck the life right out of you.  It can be really tempting to believe that you are viewed as a failure by your family and friends.  And for the government to lie to us like this just makes things even harder.

If you are unemployed and can’t find a job right now, I want you to understand that you are caught in the midst of a long-term downward economic spiral which is going to get a lot worse.

When the government tells you that we are in a “recovery”, they are lying to you.

And when the government tells you that things are about to get a lot better, they are lying to you.

Everyone has times in their lives when they get knocked down.

The key is to always get back up and to never, ever stop fighting.

Yes, we are facing some really hard economic times.  But that does not mean that your life is over.  Never give up, and never give in to fear.  Just do what you can with what you have today, and tomorrow get up and fight with everything that you have got.

The truth is that the best chapters of your life could be just around the corner.

Just don’t sit back and wait for the government to save you.  If you are waiting for the government to save you, then you are going to be deeply disappointed.

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zorba THE GREEK's picture

If only McDonalds could put on anothers shift

zorba THE GREEK's picture

But alas, they are already open 24-7

MonkeyKnutz's picture

6 four hour shifts!  I'm Loving It!! (Not to mention the wood pulp, thats good shit too!)

kaiserhoff's picture

Todos los hombres latinos se emplean.
¿Dónde está el problema.

knukles's picture

dame tu puto dinero o me pego Gringo

Tom Servo's picture

It's full employment because the regime says it is.  You obviously hate the President because he is a black man in the white house


<obvious sarc>

zorba THE GREEK's picture's called darky malarky

Ward cleaver's picture

True, if Bush were in the WH, 60 minutes
would be doing half hour segments on how bad
things are. MSM not going to ask knucklehead
any tough questions )except how's your golf?)

lakecity55's picture

Comrades! Shame on all of you!

The Party is our strength!

There is 100% employment for everyone who wants work! The Premier would not lie to us!
The proof is in the millions of Mexicans breaking every law to get here to get the vast number jobs that are still unfilled!

These rumors of high unemployment are propaganda by the Arch-Capitalist running dogs, Russia and China!

Workers Unite! Forward to Victory!

kaiserhoff's picture

I"m afraid yours is more in the spirit of the times, knuks.

  Lo siento.

Fukushima Fricassee's picture
Fukushima Fricassee (not verified) kaiserhoff Mar 9, 2015 8:15 PM

La problema esta in el culo de Obama,  se dece Reggie , que teine AIDs.

Falling Down's picture

Gotsta be down with the struggle, get that $15/hr.

John Law Lives's picture

On a side note, what is happening to saved comments of ZH members?  I have noticed some 3 different times within the past year or so that older comments have (apparently) been removed.  Is ZH running out of physical storage space?

zorba THE GREEK's picture

John, maybe they went the route of Hilery's emails, lost in space.

John Law Lives's picture

As you know, when you are logged in at ZH, you can search messages posted by other members.  I seem to recall ~3 different times within the past year or so that older messages were simply gone from view.  I would like someone from ZH to state the reason for this.

Tom Servo's picture

Probably someone making an executive decision that retaining comments more than X amount of days old is not worth retaining and I am sure it helps with performance if there is database contention.  I don't post often, just lurk, so i'm sure some nub will say "been here 4 years and you finally chime in with that?"...


Arnold's picture

How very Turing of you, not quit right yet Mr Servo.

"so i'm sure..."  Nice touch.

John Law Lives's picture

Thanks for the reply.  Yes, that seems sensible.

As an FYI, the following clip is one of the funniest segments I ever saw on MST3K:

tarsubil's picture

The speeder chase in that movie was so intense.

r00t61's picture

I think what happens is that when older articles get moved to the archive server, they no longer become searchable. 

However, the comments are still there; you can do a site-specific search from google and look for a specific user's comments and they are still all present, even though they have been moved to the archive server.


John Law Lives's picture

Thanks for the reply.  Yes, that makes sense.

WillyWonka's picture

Why worry?  They are saved in a nice shiny building in Utah. 


kareninca's picture

You beat me to it.

Hey, NSA, what page in Pipes' book on Russia under the old regime, is the quote re the historical basis of slavery (excepting in the Americas?)????  I keep flipping through the book and I can't find it again.  But I posted it on ZH at one point.  Come on, it is taking me forever to find it again; you can get it for me in a moment.

Now  -  do I really want to receive an email with a page number in it?????

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

There's a place in Utah where you can find those missing comments John...

John Law Lives's picture

I imagine there is quite a lot stored there.

hootowl's picture

John;  Not to worry those old comments are safely tucked away in NSA files where nobody can access them except trusted, honorable, NSA staff.

What a relief, huh?

oklaboy's picture

this aut to turn out well, bonfires anybody?

Berspankme's picture

Saying you have a job and being gainfully employed are 2 distinct things. A lot of people working 15 hours a week

Westcoastliberal's picture

This is just one of the most public things the government is lying about.  Consider the unbelievable amount of money being wasted in our "empire efforts" around the world, especially in the Middle East, with more highly-paid contractors on-site than troops. Where did the $2.3 TRILLION Rumsfeld told us "could not be accounted for by the Pentagon" on 9/10/01?

Berspankme's picture

A lot of the lying about unemployment is to bolster their immigration argument. The immigration is to destroy the culture. If we showed 25% UE people would be in an uproar over immigration so they just lie. Fuck You DC

hootowl's picture

The Pentagon records went up in flames and down in rubble on 9/11.  What a coincidence that two places where the records were kept could be destroyed at the same time.  Who could possibly have known where those records were located????

nmewn's picture

Here we go, a test...Are You A Socialist?

Because if you think profiting off of education is must be! ;-)

(Just wait till you get to the last

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thanks so much for sucking me in. I am now branded a reactionary and on, yet again, another damn list. The last question was a hoot.

It would be interesting to see the responses in Europe. Socialism/Marxism was quite entrenched there when I traveled to France and Italy. Especially in the youth which was surprising to me. I guess self determination just isn't popular anymore.


nmewn's picture

Seems I was a running dog reactionary capitalist too, ah well, consider the

Yeah, they got that self determination thingy all mixed up with the Farrrrreeeee! shit, we call it bribery and/or state capture here, which is fine until they run out of other peoples money ;-)


Alvin Fernald's picture

Yeah that last question was illogical. I got the pic of Reagan saluting.

Oldwood's picture

So what IS a job?

Is it showing up for a paycheck?

Is it doing something productive?

because there are lots of people receiving payment for doing virtually nothing, some with supposed "jobs" and many others simply on the dole.

There are many others being very productive with their lives while receiving NO paycheck.

Dearlydeparted's picture

@ Oldwood

That would be the public sector. Here in Canada it's pretty much the same, getting paid just for showing up at some agency, it's basically  AA for all the designated groups.

lakecity55's picture

I rob liquor stores for a living.

No bennies execept free booze. I cleared 3,000$ last week! And NO taxes!

This is so profitable I may open a Robbery Consulting Service.

Usurious's picture
Usurious (not verified) lakecity55 Mar 9, 2015 9:20 PM



just open a bank, much easier to steal money and its all legal!

hootowl's picture

55;  Keep up the good work. Most of the liquor store owners are muscum......they peddle poison to the infidels.

lakecity55's picture

Yes, no doubt a cunning plan so they can take over when everone is passed out.

loonyleft's picture

It is almost full employment.

Maybe they actually do know what they are doing / saying. 

You don't yell fire in a crowded theater. Especially if you are the theater owner. 

I think they know, this is as good as it gets and are trying, rightly or wrongly to make this the new normal. 

lakecity55's picture

You know we are reaching the end when everyone knows immediately the MSM is full of shit.

In fact, I am renaming the MSM "The Baghdad Bob Media."


livefreediefree's picture

As far as I can remember, none of the prime-timers on Fox (Greta, O'Reilly, Megyn, and Hannity) has mentioned the lies that are the gov't's unemployment, GPD, and inflation numbers.

Obama has brought Fox News to heel. ZeroHedge is becoming more isolated.

b a n n e d's picture

President Obama took office in January 2009, there were 80,529,000 Americans who were not participating in the workforce, which means that 12,369,000 US citizens have left the workforce since then. The number of Americans out of the workforce jumped by 354,000 last month. The last time the labor participation rate dropped below 63 percent was 37 years ago, in March 1978 when it was 62.8 percent.

lost money's picture

1978 when another mental midget with no clue on Mid-east policy and basic economics was in the WH

hootowl's picture

That time frame was when Jimmius Carterius was the last communist to squat in the white house, that is before this illegal alien, Barry Soetoro, was inflicted on us by International ZOG.  His assigned task is to issue the economic Coup de Grace on the middle class and wreak racial havoc, military destruction, and moral chaos upon America.

This current crop of Demoncraps and RINOs have nearly brought us down.  The possible advent of a Killary or Locohontas regime will surely finish the job.  We are overwhelmed at the ballot box by imbeciles and Diebold, the demoniacal Sorosian vote counter.

The electoral process will not save us.  It will require much more efficacious methods to re-acquire our freedoms and prosperity.

Effete American Men will have to rise up from their couches and barstools, shed the blubber and dead flesh that shroud their bodies, grow some testicles and take their guns out of the closet while they still have them.

Stock up on ammo.  Ovomit is trying a collateral attack on the second amendment by banning ammunition.

Men must form small cadres of trusted friends and relatives and begin the process of exterminating local and state Liberal/progressives from political, and judicial office and controlling the nation's schoolboards.

Begin at the bottom and move up.  If we don't act soon, it will be too late.  Ovomit has imported his "domestic army" of millions of muscum demons and "useful idiots" from latin america.  Muscums have infiltrated federal law enforcement and the Pentagon.  The head of the CIA is a converted muscum.

If you don't believe that the most dangerous and powerful  threat to our freedoms and prosperity we have ever faced is the current U.S. Government, you are part of the problem.  It will be a long, hard, slog to throw off this demonic behemoth ZOG, but may not yet be too late.

Powder is dry.