As frequent readers know, for the past three years we have compiled data looking at the US unemployment rate assuming a realistic labor force participation rate, which is the trendline average of the past three decades, or in the mid-65% area. Using such an approach allows us to estimate what the true unemployment (U3, not U6 underemployment) rate is. We can report that as a result of the latest monthly collapse in the labor force whose only purpose was to lower the unemployment rate from 7.4% to 7.3%, the actual implied unemployment rate just rose from 11.2% to 11.4%.
This can be seen on the chart below. Also can be seen that the spread between the reported manipulated unemployment rate and the real rate accounting for a realistic labor force participation, just hit a record high 4.1%. In other words, unemployment data manipulation by the BLS was never been greater in the history of the US than in the past month.
Perhaps most ironic is that last month's massive jobs revision was as we predicted based on the JOLTS breakdown of data, which showed that the Establishment survey was persistently overestimating what the underlying situation is. We said:
This means that either the JOLTS survey is substantially underrepresenting the net turnover of workers, or that once the part-time frenzy in the NFP data normalizes, the monthly job gains will plunge to just over 100K per month to "normalize" for what has been a very peculiar upward "drift" in the NFP "data."