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Gallup Poll CEO tells truth about U.S. unemployment

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  • Gallup Poll CEO tells truth about U.S. unemployment

    The following was written by Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton:

    Source: The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment


    Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

    Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

    None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.

    There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

    Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

    There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

    And it's a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual's primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen's talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

    Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class.

    I hear all the time that "unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren't feeling it." When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't "feeling" something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.



    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    I hope he's ready to be audited by the IRS and don't be surprised if you start hearing negative stories about Gallup in the media.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    Anybody who isn't a low-information moron has known the truth about unemployment for a while. U6, which includes anybody currently looking for work as well as the under-employed has always been double the official numbers (currently 11.2, two points higher than when Obama took office), but even that doesn't tell the whole story because it excludes discouraged workers who have simply given up looking for a job. Add to that the fact that the current labor participation rate is at its lowest point since Jimmy Carter, and it's easy to see why the average American hasn't been celebrating the Obama "recovery".
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah this is not news.

      But maybe what we need is "employment rates" instead of "unemployment rates" to show how may people have jobs.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that the point that is being missed is that Jim Clifton, who is also the chairman of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and was awarded an honorary degree from Medgar Evers College (although he did contribute to Republican Herman Cain's campaign when he ran for the Senate in Georgia -- well before his short-lived presidential run) is not generally regarded as a conservative source. Except maybe by those who are on the far left and regard anyone who isn't as liberal as they are as being right wing extremists.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          Yeah this is not news.

          But maybe what we need is "employment rates" instead of "unemployment rates" to show how may people have jobs.
          That's basically what the labor participation rate is, but the mainstream media won't touch that number with a ten foot pole.
          Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
          But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
          Than a fool in the eyes of God


          From "Fools Gold" by Petra

          Comment


          • #6
            That's probably why even in jobs with normally decent wages those are going lower or not increasing at all. Because of the stock market, companies will get a boost in their stock price if they announce they are cutting staff. A common way they do this it to outsource. This is a common trick with IT dept. shipping/warehousing dept. etc. They announce a staff reduction. RIF their IT or Shipping depts, quietly sign a contract with an outside vendor to do the same job (for about the same money they were paying "their people" to begin with) who hire the RIF'ed personnel back at a lower rate, and often times less benefits than they were making (and don't hire some of the higher paid people). The companies all win, most of the employee's lose. They're still in the employed section, but now their buying power is diminished...but doing the exact same job...
            "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

            "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              Yeah this is not news.

              But maybe what we need is "employment rates" instead of "unemployment rates" to show how may people have jobs.
              Otherwise known as the "participation rate" - but is not advertised.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey! let's raise the minimum wage! That should fix everything!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The problem with a "participation rate" (i.e., as a percentage of the population) is that it doesn't distinguish those who aren't interested in a full-time job (e.g. retired persons, stay-at-home parents, college students living with their parents, some people on unemployment benefits). Those should probably not be counted as "unemployed." This may be a spectrum too. Some people may be half-heartedly interested in a full-time job. Where you decide to draw the line is likely to be arbitrary.

                  Here's another difficulty with employment statistics: Consider a family where normally only the father works, and the others are uninterested in a full-time job. Supposing we start from 'full employment', suppose that more difficult times arise, and the father loses his job, and as a result the mom and two of the kids take on jobs to pay the bills while Dad looks for a new job in his field. Arguably the family considers themselves to be in a less-satisfactory employment situation, and yet it increased the employment statistics.

                  Coming up with a good unemployment statistic is difficult to impossible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Joel View Post
                    The problem with a "participation rate" (i.e., as a percentage of the population) is that it doesn't distinguish those who aren't interested in a full-time job (e.g. retired persons, stay-at-home parents, college students living with their parents, some people on unemployment benefits). Those should probably not be counted as "unemployed." This may be a spectrum too. Some people may be half-heartedly interested in a full-time job. Where you decide to draw the line is likely to be arbitrary.

                    Here's another difficulty with employment statistics: Consider a family where normally only the father works, and the others are uninterested in a full-time job. Supposing we start from 'full employment', suppose that more difficult times arise, and the father loses his job, and as a result the mom and two of the kids take on jobs to pay the bills while Dad looks for a new job in his field. Arguably the family considers themselves to be in a less-satisfactory employment situation, and yet it increased the employment statistics.

                    Coming up with a good unemployment statistic is difficult to impossible.
                    There's no reason why they have to release just one number to rule them all. They could do a break-down of different employment statistics.
                    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Joel View Post
                      The problem with a "participation rate" (i.e., as a percentage of the population) is that it doesn't distinguish those who aren't interested in a full-time job (e.g. retired persons, stay-at-home parents, college students living with their parents, some people on unemployment benefits). Those should probably not be counted as "unemployed." This may be a spectrum too. Some people may be half-heartedly interested in a full-time job. Where you decide to draw the line is likely to be arbitrary.

                      Here's another difficulty with employment statistics: Consider a family where normally only the father works, and the others are uninterested in a full-time job. Supposing we start from 'full employment', suppose that more difficult times arise, and the father loses his job, and as a result the mom and two of the kids take on jobs to pay the bills while Dad looks for a new job in his field. Arguably the family considers themselves to be in a less-satisfactory employment situation, and yet it increased the employment statistics.

                      Coming up with a good unemployment statistic is difficult to impossible.
                      Labor participation rate could be a deceptive figure in and of itself, but it can be used to show trends over time, and the fact is that today, after six-years of Obama's policies, we have the fewest number of people in the labor force since Jimmy Carter.
                      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                      Than a fool in the eyes of God


                      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                        Labor participation rate could be a deceptive figure in and of itself, but it can be used to show trends over time, and the fact is that today, after six-years of Obama's policies, we have the fewest number of people in the labor force since Jimmy Carter.
                        That's true but the Baby Boomers have been retiring since Carter. That would throw the stat off a tad...
                        "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                        "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We should be aware of two things when looking at these numbers:

                          1) The unemployment rate has been calculated using the same statistical and data collection techniques for decades. The objections to the methodology, while perhaps valid, are no more true now than in the past. The response today isn't with the methodology, but with what it produces - a low rate under a President despised by the right wing. Therefore it can't be correct, therefore the methodology is wrong. I remember the liberals raising the same stink when the unemployment under Bush was quite low.

                          2) However, just in case today's situation IS qualitatively different from the past, the labor department has recently decided to extend those counted as unemployed from 99 weeks (the limit of unemployment benefits) to 5 years, in an effort to capture those whose benefits have been exhausted, but who are still willing to work.

                          The danger with changing the definition of the "labor force" in order to try to make it more descriptive, is that it becomes noncomparable with past values. Bear in mind that if we count people out of work for up to 5 full years as unemployed (which boosts the unemployment rate), we are ALSO counting them as part of the labor force (which boosts the size of the labor force). Unfortunately for the right wing, you can't count people as unemployed but NOT count them as part of the labor force.

                          Taking a step or two back for perspective, we should note that labor force size, unemployment rate, new applicants for unemployment benefits, number of people receiving such benefits, etc. is only one small sliver of the overall economic status. There are also things like corporate profits, stock market equity valuation levels, rates of corporate investment, size and growth rates of GDP, and many more metrics. Taken altogether, what these are currently telling us is that the US economy is improving, but the rate of improvement has been rather anemic - and STILL better than most of the Western world, and even China's growth rate has taken a big hit lately.

                          Another way of looking at it is, we're still emerging from the worst depression since the 1930s, and THAT depression shrugged off all sorts of efforts to goose it somehow. It took WWII to crank the economy up again. The current recovery isn't nearly as fast as would be the case with another WWII (we do NOT want WWIII and nukes!), but it's coming right along.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                            That's true but the Baby Boomers have been retiring since Carter. That would throw the stat off a tad...
                            Not really. Retired people are not considered unemployed OR part of the labor force.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by phank View Post
                              Not really. Retired people are not considered unemployed OR part of the labor force.
                              they are considered in the Labor Participation Rate that MM was talking about. But not in the unemployment statics. Not the same stat.
                              "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                              "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                              Comment

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