Unemployment rates are bogus statistics, always were!

According to Friday’s November labor report , the U.S. unemployment rate fell 0.2% to 7.7% in October, primarily due to another 350,000 workers who dropped out of the workforce, almost three times the number of jobs created (140,000), assuming the jobs created statistic is confirmed.

The previous two months job statistics were revised downward another 49,000, after the November election of course. The monthly employment figures often have a tendency to be revised downwards in the months following the labor reports, after being announced with the usual media fanfare.

The available labor force decreased again to 63.6%, which is down from 65.7% when the recession supposedly ended in June 2009.


Three years into an economic expansion, the labor participation rate has fallen two full percentage points and three times this year (including November) it has reached the lowest level since 1981. This means that about three million more workers were working or looking for work in 2009 than in November. In the last year alone, the number of working age nonworkers grew to 89.2 million from 86.8 million.

Why are so many Americans no longer looking for work? The reasons are as numerous as the number of unemployed and underemployed and during the Obama recovery, too! Possibly workers can’t get a similar job and decide to retire early.


But there may be even unhappier reasons. Economist Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago has documented that the huge increase in government benefits for not working—food stamps, disability payments and unemployment insurance—are increasing the incentive not to work. Welfare payments that redistribute income from workers to mostly nonworkers now exceed $1 trillion a year.


Fewer workers also mean less tax revenue, more welfare benefits paid out, and thus larger budget deficits. Labor union chiefs like to say we have to “make work pay” in America, but the very transfer payments they support may be encouraging people not to work.

According to the October Forbes Magazine the actual unemployment was 14.7% because of those workers who are no longer counted in the unemployment report. A portion of the workers not counted include those who failed to actively search for employment in the preceding 4 weeks (the previous month’s survey), regardless if they were available and ready to work.

Since the labor department’s unemployment calculation isn’t normalized with respect to those who have stopped seeking work, for whatever reason, the figures do not represent the actual rates of unemployment and never have.




  1. Sooooo, what’s your point? The stats were bogus during the time your boys Reagan, GHW Bush, and GW Bush were in office, then? How far are you going to go back, Ted, to show that the numbers have been fixed? The election is over; your man lost. You need to let it go.

    As you know, the economy is not a speedboat that can turn on a dime; it’s an aircraft carrier that takes miles to turn around. Despite your protestations to the contrary, and those of your fellow wingnuts, the economy is slowly recovering. There are going to be ebbs and flows, and there have been since your man GWB ran the country into the ground. But, overall, most economists agree that the economy is recovering. Let’s hope it continues.

    BTW: I know that you and your fellow wingnuts think that everyone on government assistance, or unemployment, would rather sit at home collecting a meager check (and they are meager) instead of working. However, I have plenty of white-collar friends, and blue-collar as well, who lost jobs in the last 2-4 years and NONE of them would rather sit at home on unemployment.

    • Ted Biondo

      The left have wingnuts too, buddy! The point is to show that the figures considerably understste the employment problem and the solutions don’t have a chance to work, if no one knows how big the problem is originally. I’m simply stating that the relative comparisons are the only way to compare the statistics between presidents. But to solve the probelm we have to determine why these people leave the workforce and let the politicians off the unemployment hook!!

  2. To clarify the new unemployment rate of 7.7 is for November, it was 7.9 in October. This is a positive trend but unfortunately Ted views this as bad news because the President based upon the Jack Welsh doctrine must look poorly at every turn. Thankfully the voters were able to discern reality from fiction and give R and R the boot.

  3. @Sreverino: How is it a “positive trend” when the REAL reason for the rate reduction is because 500,000 people dropped out of the workforce? It takes about 250,000 new hires just to break even, if the labor force numbers are otherwise stable.

    Our economy is actually going backwards, but is being covered up by “creative” bookkeeping, sort of like “baseline budgeting”.

  4. snuss – We had the same bookkeeper when Raygun and W were in office.

  5. Yes, but we didn’t have such a long period of a failed “recovery” in either the Reagan or Bush terms, to the point that millions of people “dropped out” of the workforce. They actually fixed the economy, rather than damaging it even further, like “The Messiah” has done, with no policy change in sight.

  6. In case you missed it the economic genius of Crawford was persona non grata at the GOP convention.

  7. shawnnews

    Who sees the trend?
    The right doesn’t like the numbers for the global warming projections. They manufacture a bogus scandal from hacked emails from East Anglia saint the numbers are bogus.
    The new target is the bureau of labor statistics. The books must be cooked there because it doesn’t fit in with the party narrative.

  8. On a related note, (bureaucratic accounting idiocy), check out the following.

    We all know that the U.S. tax code is riddled with “loopholes”, exemptions and deductions intended to incentivize certain activities. Many of these are of dubious provenance and questionable utility. But, there is one that is particularly ridiculous. As in, how can this possibly be thought of as a loophole? But, to the technocrats in the federal government, the tax you don’t have to pay on the value of rent you don’t have to pay because you own your home is a loophole.

    Read the rest at: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/08/the-most-absurd-loophole-in-the-tax-code

  9. Breitbart? There’s more fact based reporting from the Onion.

  10. JRM_CommonSense

    We are in an environment where approximately 250,000 people a month are retiring and taking their Social Security benefits. That seems to be a pretty significant portion of that 350,000 who left the work force.

    • Ted Biondo

      JRM, the Brookings Institute says 208,000 jobs will be needed to be created every month to close the gap between those exiting and entering the workforce to balance out the work by 2020 and the number entering the workforce every month tends to vary between 125,000 and 200,000. So that cancels much of those retiring. The unemployment numbers are still bogus and have been for a long time, because of what they choose to consider in the calculations.

  11. I note that Steverino attacks the source, rather than trying to refute the facts (because they can’t).

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