Real Unemployment Numbers: Do Enough People Know the Truth?

For many years the Chicago Tribune has been a source of entertainment more than news. If you want to know how the old media is spinning things, avoiding the truth or outright lying, the Trib is always there to give you an example. Here’s a breaking news headline from last week: “U.S. recoups jobs lost in recession: The economy added 217,000 last month, the Labor Department said.”

Different headlines were to be found in the new media — like these three from Matt Drudge:

92,009,000 Americans Not Working…
Labor Force at 36-Year Low…
7 Million Have Left Under Obama…

Those three Drudge headlines linked to these two articles:

37.2%: Percentage Not in Labor Force Remains at 36-Year High

Sessions: 7 Million Have Left Workforce Since Obama Took Office

The LA Times did better in their report than the Trib, but the Washington Times, unsurprisingly, editorialized about the truth:

Obama’s amazing shrinking economy: How long before Obamanomics can be called a failure?

If those articles aren’t enough to make a mockery of that one from the Trib, the facts in Mike Shedlock’s post at Townhall Finance more than get the job done. Some of it is dry economics (or it is to many of us), but this excerpt could even be understood by low information voters — if only they were to hear it:

The official unemployment rate is 6.3%. However, if you start counting all the people who want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is in the last row labeled U-6.

U-6 is much higher at 12.2%. Both numbers would be way higher still, were it not for millions dropping out of the labor force over the past few years.

Labor Force Factors

  1. Discouraged workers stop looking for jobs
  2. People retire because they cannot find jobs
  3. People go back to school hoping it will improve their chances of getting a job
  4. People stay in school longer because they cannot find a job
  5. Disability and disability fraud

Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force over the past several years, the unemployment rate would be well over 9%.

Read more: Townhall Finance