Real Jobless Rate Is 11.4% With Realistic Labor Force Participation Rate

Tyler Durden's picture

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to grasp the fudging the BLS has been doing every month for years now in order to bring the unemployment rate lower: the BLS constantly lowers the labor force participation rate as more and more people "drop out" of the labor force for one reason or another. While there is some floating speculation that this is due to early retirement, this is completely counterfactual when one also considers the overall rise in the general civilian non institutional population. In order to back out this fudge we are redoing an analysis we did first back in August 2010, which shows what the real unemployment rate would be using a realistic labor force participation rate. To get that we used the average rate since 1980, or ever since the great moderation began. As it happens, this long-term average is 65.8% (chart 1). We then apply this participation rate to the civilian noninstitutional population to get what an "implied" labor force number is, and additionally calculate the implied unemployed using this more realistic labor force. We then show the difference between the reported and implied unemployed (chart 2). Finally, we calculate the jobless rate using this new implied data. It won't surprise anyone that as of December, the real implied unemployment rate was 11.4% (final chart) - basically where it has been ever since 2009 - and at 2.9% delta to reported, represents the widest divergence to reported data since the early 1980s. And because we know this will be the next question, extending this lunacy, America will officially have no unemployed, when the Labor Force Participation rate hits 58.5%, which should be just before the presidential election.

Labor Force Participation since 1980:

Reported and Implied number of Unemployed:

Difference between Reported and implied unemployment rate:

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blindfaith's picture

start counting the self' "employed' not working and the number is 20%

Harlequin001's picture

There was a time once when they simply counted the number of people claiming benefits. That was obviously too complicated...

and calculating how much is paid out each month is obviously way too difficult. Best to apply some smoothing I think...

TruthInSunshine's picture

'I'll take

'Even 11.4% is far too conservative a figure in terms of quantifying the unemployment rate, for a variety of factors, too numerous to list on this tiny, blue Jeopardy screen' for $2,000,"



*And we'll be rocking the economy when the labor participation rate for 18 to 55 year olds is less than 50%.

Pegasus Muse's picture

John Williams ( has non-government-manipulated Unemployment Rate north of 22%:

economics1996's picture

I went through Williams’s stats and while consistent he often overshoots the unemployment rates, inflation, and so forth.

11.4% is about right.  I came up with 10.6% using similar methods last go around, I will calculate it again, propally today or tomorrow.

Usa we the people web site.

economics1996's picture

I ran through the numbers and came up with 11.2% using a slightly different method.  Close enough.

Here is a link.

eureka's picture

US FEd Gov habitually claims there's 130 some million jobs in US, However, when considering that a ton of people have two and or three jobs to make ends meet, I submit there's less than 100 million persons actually working in the US.

Low income service sector workers, and teachers, who double as such in order to make extra money to pay for their students' materials, which parents and school districts don't want to pay for, because it's more important to pay for police and military empire, compose the largest sector of such two and three job workers.

Low income service sector jobs make up the largest employment category in the US.

Once upon a few years ago glossy magazines like GQ, Vanity Fair et al were 200-300 pages. Today they are 100 pages. Cookies and consumer snacks packages are smaller and weigh less, whereas their price points are up.

US citizens are consistently getting shittier jobs, lower pays and less for their USDs spent.

For all the talk of how EU austerity will kill the world economy - obviously US has already implemented its own ideomatic austerity, which like all things US - is the stealthy version of things.

Stealth Austerity, Stealth Employment Date, Stealth Everything - Gentlemen.

Welcome to the United States of New-Speak-Doubble-Speak-Non-Speak-Fake-Speak.


Cheat Sheat/Answer: 10,000 - i.e. lot's of trickle-down-elite-henchmen-jobs for the people, who protect us against ourselves, busily handing our jaywalking tickets and such other HomeLand Securing activities, while heavily armed. L.A. today looks like Spain under Franco; machine-gun armed cops crawling everywhere on subways, police cruiser and patrol cars on every block. Fascism is in the US today. There's your future job.

sun tzu's picture

Teachers make more than most government workers on average. Why do people keep claiming they're underpaid?

On top of the salary, they have very good benefits and get the summer off along with spring break and Christmas break. They really work 8-9 months per year.

King_of_simpletons's picture

Yup. Union Pension too.

And this is the result of wanting more and more for working less:

Rynak's picture

...and get the summer off along with spring break and Christmas break.

With quite a bit of those "breaks" consisting of work, and coincidentally also some of the time at home during workdays, consisting of work.

I may hate the "education"-system for a lot of reasons, and think that it is inefficient and does more harm than good..... but i from personal experience would never ever claim, that teachers are lazy, or that their working conditions are great. They are working hard, and are paid fairly.... it's just that the work they do, isn't neccessarily benefical to society.

And as for "working 8-9 months per year"..... if something like this would apply to the majority of society, at the same average monthly wage as now.... well, that precisely IS what employment actually is worth right now, and it actually IS the rate that is needed, for the workforce being able to finance it's life itself, without direct or indirect infusions of "stimulus". Nations do not have such high unemployment rates, because they work too little for too high wages - unemployment is as high, because people's work is artificially via extortion discounted - too much work, for too little pay, per employee.

No one would in case of a company claim, that if it's revenues cannot cover the costs, that the solution is to reduce sale prices while spending more. But when it comes to the workforce of a nation, such idiocy is supposedly logical and efficient..... when the stats only ever show precisely the opposite trend.

But hey, feel free to discard such systemic analysis and problem solving, and continue to be mainly concerned with class warfare and envy..... i'm sure infighting of a collective, will fix the entire collective getting fucked by parasites.

eureka's picture

sun tzu - if you think for example a California $35K/yr start salary after six years of college (without income) and a pile of debt - is too much - then perhaps you should consider that you can barely rent a decent 2 BR apartment in a half decent neighborhood in for example L.A. - with that income.

Rather than becoming a teacher - going through all that inconvenient learning, postponing earnings for six years and taking on student loans - here's a more advantageous career path whose TIME HAS COME:

BE A COP - all you need is highschool -and you can make up for it if you dropped-out - you cannot have a high IQ - and you do get to caryy various guns, drive cars with cool computers and cameras - and LAPD will start you at $55,000+ per year.


Forget knowledge. SECURITY is THE NEW career.  More than a third of your Federal Tax Dollar goes to it, channeled to states, Pentagun, Langley, HomeLand Sec. etc etc.

10, 000 LAPD cops - keeping you safe from yourself - earning double of a teacher.

THAT - spells the future of the US. 

US Reality IS just like a movie, a video-game:  lots of guns and very little knowledge.

kall's picture

Let's face it, it's getting harder and harder to find a good job these days because the demands from the employers have grown higher and the competition has become stiffer among job applicants. Some complain that a simple background check minimizes their chances of finding their job especially if they have something on their records. I was talking to a friend recently about that and we concluded that the situation is quite complex. I do approve with using the background checks but we should also keep an open view about it, not all the people with a criminal record are bad people...

Urban Redneck's picture

A perfectly natural progression of the marriage of moral relativism and the nanny state, except the Nazi Statists are more literal than usual about making the peons into their whores.  The unemployed in Greece should be really concerned.  If this what the Germans will do to their own citizens- imagine what happens if the Germans throw in some FDI in the "tourism" sector with the next bailout tranche?   All the Greek Isles could be converted to Pattaya West before the summer vacation season.  

Tortfeasor's picture

Seven year old article is seven years old.

lotsoffun's picture

Iwas living I holland in 2003 when this became an issue there also. And being a mature culture, they realized the error and rescinded that, although prostition is legal and in theory they pay full taxes and are therefore entitled to full benefits. The usa can't have it legal. There wouldn't be a female presenter available for MSM. They would all be fighting over buffett and spitzer types. Come to think of it, barney frank would have a good bid for most of the males.

sun tzu's picture

It's legal in Nevada and nothing is stopping any other state from legalizing prostitution or gambling. The state governments are losing out on a massive amount of potential revenue while clogging up the courts and jails with victimless crimes

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I constantly see the BLS at the Human Resources conventions I go to and the representatives are always sitting on their asses at the booths.  During downtimes I will generally go over to their booth and ask why it is thatthe BLS constantly adjusts their unemployment findings down a month after they are released?  Blank stares is the answer I generally get.  Cockwhore monky fuckers.

Problem Is's picture

You're lucky they don't call the TSA on you for a pat down...

Tsar Pointless's picture

Ugh. That was ONE ugly employment situation report.

Go to the BLS site and look at the not-seasonally adjusted Table A-1 numbers. Yikes! Down to a labor participation rate of 63.8%, which just happens to be an ALL-TIME LOW.

And the number of employed...yowza!

Nothing at all to see here. Move along, kindly.

Everybodys All American's picture

It's as much about keeping hope alive as anything.

dwdollar's picture

No doubt. Once all hope is lost, the riots start. However, there's still a lot of people out there willing to believe a lie rather than face the truth. The propagandists know this and are playing it for all it's worth.

depression's picture

yep we kid around a lot here , but these series are really sad. The human toll this extend and pretend BS is taking is criminal...

cossack55's picture

Virtual jobs for virtual pay

RichardENixon's picture

The BLS number, which is the one that will be reported by the media, will drop to about 8 % by November. Maybe even 7.9%. Doesn't matter what the real rate is.

thedrickster's picture

Yep, truth is irrelevant in the Empire of lies. The cable & nightly news zombies will nod, verbalize & internalize a pre-programmed response and then switch over to Netflix.

blindfaith's picture

American have been taught to grade on a curve for 50 years....even if it spirals downward it appears to be an improvement to the folks who got a "D" in math and can't look at a perfect cube and understand that all the sides are the same.

Just think, by election time so many will have been 'timed out' or trimmed off the rolls of the counting curve that there will be only two people "OFFICIALLY" unemployed and then the government can report a surplus of jobs unfilled.

Imaginary numbers don't lie.  People do.  

Americans are still asleep ...confident the sun will come out tomorrow just as it always has, and the hills are alive with music

lotsoffun's picture

Barry was graded on a curve also. Still is. Noble prize included. Give the boy (oops young man) a break. He did well for himself.

_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

That would be something, since we are already entering a new global recession within this depression. The keyword is global. This will effect the earnings of the global corporations, which in turn must bring the US stock market down. It's just a question of how much it will go down. I'm not even including events in Europe.

I predict the official unemployment rate will be well over 10% again by November. In that case, Barry can pack his bags.

Shizzmoney's picture

It is sad when the MSM keeps saying, "Things are getting better", when alternative media, on both sides of the isle, are pointing to downward trends each and every single time these reports come out.  On top of that, you have both Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul basically beating the same drum anytime you talk about the "real economy" - you know, the one that people actually live in, and not the one the 10% talks about with their trader from their high office buildings.

Oil is up (and would be up more if the winter wasn't so mild).  Food is up.  Public transport is up.  And so is hiring....but when you have a median income that is 15% behind the money supply growth, how in the BLUE FUCK MOON is this "real growth" of wealth?

I mean, you have the fact that, as reported here, males are making less of a percentage of what they did 47 years ago.  Wow, you got a job as a Barista at Starbucks.  Really gonna help you pay off that student loan and CC debt!

Hours are only averaging 37.5 a week, yet we've never seen such high production levels.  Corporate profits are through the roof (but waning). 

But the US has also never had this much debt.



a growing concern's picture

"BLUE FUCK MOON"?  Is that a new microbrew?

knowless's picture

better be careful with that "alternative media"..

Hephasteus's picture

The leaders promise the more doctrine. The more doctrine rolls back prices for a while and then rolls them right back up past where they were to begin with because the physical manifestation of the more doctrine is taking every step of the way.

The runners of the scam live in nominal and take in nominal while victims of it live in relative and gain and lose in relative.

WonderDawg's picture

Thanks for quantifying and putting into easy to understand graphics what all of us here already knew intuitively. And as blindfaith pointed out, there is a huge number of workers who aren't even included in this data.

BLS will continue trying to put whip cream on this turd, and the MSM can tell us how good it tastes, but none of us are eating it.

Problem Is's picture

"BLS will continue trying to put whip cream on this turd"

+1... Classic...

Irish66's picture

OT.  Next chart stop for Euro?

NOTW777's picture

aug 24, 10 low was 1.2588 and earlier, somewhat lower - july - 1.2522ish

fuu's picture

What software do you use for the charts?

AbelCatalyst's picture

To see the market down on a day when the employement numbers were way up makes me think that the masses maybe catching on to the ways and means of the Central Planners.  

Probably not, but it does give me a glimmer of hope that Math will eventually prevail.    

Frank N. Beans's picture

the masses have nothing to do with the early drop in the markets; today is tracing the same pattern going on this whole week: drop early, then revive and go positive for the day. 

if this keeps up, we can trade it.

fuu's picture

The pattern continues just long enough for people to think they can trade it, then it changes.

lotsoffun's picture

Glimmers of hope, and change? Most likely, the banks have some sort of frontline insider info coming up weekend that they aren't sure if its + or -. Which implys really bad, because we all know at this point, bad news has been good.

asteroids's picture

Dear Pres. Obama: Is this the "Hope and Change" you were looking to accomplish?

Village Smithy's picture

65.8% is actually low IMHO. We are retiring later, and more and more households require 2 incomes to get by. besides you can screw with these numbers a million different ways but the bottom line is how fast our debt level (the water) is rising. It's a simple anology I admit, but as long as that water level is rising things are getting worse, and it is only a matter of time.

richard in norway's picture

fudging the figures in bad times is dishonest but your graph shows that the idiots were fudging the other way in "good times" unemployment below 3% is  overheating which should bring tax rises or interest rate rises to correct

blindfaith's picture

America has been taught to grade on the curve....even if it spirals downward it appears to be an improvement to the folks who got a "D" in math.

Just think, by election time so many will have been 'timed out' on the counting curve that there will be only two people "OFFICIALLY" unemployed and then the BLS clowns can report a surplus of jobs unfilled.

Imaginary numbers don't lie.  People do.

Problem Is's picture

Come on now blindfaith...

A D is only one standard deviation from the mean... That's not so bad...

Besides... we can't give Ds any more... It might hurt little Biff's self esteem...

Shizzmoney's picture

Probably not, but it does give me a glimmer of hope that Math will eventually prevail.    

Inevitability HAS to prevail at some point.  The public will have its "John Q" moment.  The only varibles are "when", "What" (probably more with oil price than widespread hyper inflation), and "who" (as in, what will TPTB do when shits hits fan).