Unemployment: BLS versus Reality [Reader Post]

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Being a conservative, I’ll need a little help with this one. I’m hoping y’all Democrats/liberals/progressives out there can assist me with what is obviously “magic math.” If there were approximately 119,000 fewer people working in August than in July, then how did the “official” U-3 unemployment rate DROP from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August? And how could the U-6 rate drop from 15 percent to 14.7 percent during the same period?

Could it possibly be something that Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Hilda L. Solis and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Acting Commissioner John Galvin did? Naaaaaaaaaaaw, it couldn’t be them since we know (said very sarcastically) both of them to be above politics, just like their boss, President Barack Hussein “kill list” Obama. Suuuuuuuuuure!

This statement: “August payroll employment rises (+96,000); unemployment rate edges down (8.1%)” appears on the BLS web site as its September 7, 2012 message. There is also, if you follow the link created by the previous statement, this statement: “The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August. (See table A-1.)” The statement, “The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August” itself illustrates how “in the tank” the BLS is for Obama. How could “little changed” equate to a 0.2 percent drop in the unemployment rate?

Going to table A-1 reveals that the TOTAL Employed fell from 142,220 (thousand) in July to 142,101 (thousand) in August. By my (obviously deficient) math, that’s a drop in employment of 119 (thousand). Can anyone show me the error I’ve obviously made, how John Galvin and the BLS arrived at a gain in employment of 96 (thousand) jobs, while my calculations show just the opposite, a drop of 119 (thousand) jobs? And all of these figures are seasonally adjusted. Non-seasonally adjusted figures paint an even bleaker picture.

Table A-1 also shows that “Persons who currently want a job” rose from 6,554 (thousand) in July to 6,957 (thousand) in August, an increase of 9.4 percent.

Let’s return to the U-3 “official” 8.1 percent unemployment rate in August. Could that drop from 8.3 percent in July be due to the fact that approximately 581 (thousand) people quit looking for jobs and dropped out of the labor force to join the “Not in labor force?” The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force who did not have a job. To be counted as in the labor force, a person, according to the BLS, must be at least 16 years of age, are not in the military or an institution, and either have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.

Table A-1 shows 155,013 (thousand) people who fit those criteria, who were in the “Civilian labor force” in July. It also shows 12,794 (thousand) as unemployed, for a rate of 8.3 percent. Table A-1 also shows 154,645 (thousand) people in the “Civilian labor force” in August, 12,544 (thousand) as unemployed, for a rate of 8.1 percent.

So the “official” U-3 unemployment rate of 8.1 percent disregards the facts that people “Not in labor force” rose from 88,340 (thousand) in July to 88,921 (thousand) in August, an increase of just over 1 percent. And that the “Civilian labor force Participation rate” fell from 63.7 percent in July to 63.5 percent in August (BTW, the lowest rate in thirty years). And it disregards the rise in people who want a job.

What does all of this mean? It means that had the BLS not manipulated the data, had used the 30 year average “Civilian labor force Participation rate”of 65.8 percent, the unemployment rate would be 11.7 percent. What is more important is the fact that there is a 45 percent gap between the reported 8.1 percent unemployment rate and reality. And that the size of that gap is the greatest since January 1983, just in time for the presidential election. Are we surprised by this? The MSM will do anything, including making itself appear as a fool, to get the unemployment rate down low enough to get Obama reelected. And, if the long term discouraged workers the government doesn’t count at all anymore since 1994 were included, as they are at Shadow Government Statistics, the rate would be about 23 percent.

Perhaps it’s not my math that’s the problem. Perhaps the problem lies with the BLS and its magic math, hoping that we will just accept what the MSM slavishly reports and not look at what is actually going on. The BLS and DOL are fast losing credibility as they become more of a political tool of the Obama administration. To paraphrase William Shakespeare in Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the MSM, BLS, and DOL.”

But that’s just my opinion.

7 Responses to “Unemployment: BLS versus Reality [Reader Post]”

  1. 2


    The answer? Simple. It’s smoke and mirrors aided by a Obama owned media.

    But, you say, employment levels actually fell in August to 142,101,000 from 142,415,000 in June, for a reduction of 314,000 who have jobs. So how can the unemployment rate actually go down? One only has to pull back the curtain on what the BLS is actually doing to figure it out. Drop the civilian work force level.

    Since June, 2012, 518,000 workers have been dropped from the work force level, from 155,163,000 down to 154,645,000. Now we know that those people didn’t just pack up and leave the country, so where did they go?
    Here is the money quote: “to be counted in the work force, a person, according to the BLS, must be at least 16 years of age, must not be in the military or an institution, and either have a job or actively looked for one in the last four weeks.” But there is something missing in those requirements. In order to be claimed as part of the “unemployed” a person must be collecting unemployment benefits. So anyone who has run out of their 99 weeks, IOW anyone who has lost their job since October, 2010, and has not found another one, has been dropped from the unemployment count.

    Think about this: in January, 2008 our employment level was 146,397,000, so even with the population growth, we are still a country with 4,296,000 fewer jobs and no jobs to cover the growth in our population. Our labor force is the same as it was in August, 2008, with no addition for increased population.

    So the answer is simple: add the number of jobs, reduce the number of the civilian labor force and wholla! you get 8.1% unemployment.

  2. 3

    Nikki Foster

    We might be in for another Obambi term- polls if accurate , are too close and 100 million on some type of welfare.

    If the polls don’t come our way by late september , maybe the country gets what it deserves. A lady at the dog park i go to said the rich people took all our money and romney is evil because of his bank accounts oversea. She said if romney is elected, this country will fall apart in 6 months.
    I told her the poor have nothing to take- they pay nothing- if the business people are taxed and regulated overly much- and fold up their businesses or move oversea there will be no welfare money for the poor. I asked her what she pays in taxes , blank face- i told her i am out of work now also, i pay nothing. If everyone ends up out of work there will be no money for handouts at all. Blank look again-and she then said -don’t try to convince me romney is any good. I don’t like either one but romney is evil.
    I have not recovered since that conversation. we have 100 million with that attitude and 2 million mexicans added to obambi voter roles and its too close. Every 4 years we get deeper into dependent populations and consevatives are losing ground each cycle, its harder to take the country back.

  3. 4

    James Raider

    @Nikki Foster: #3,

    It is no longer sickening when one listens to Obama lie about “taxing the rich,” it’s become pathetically sad.

    He pretends it is the rich that he will cash-grab from, but in reality it is every small business in the country which has revenue enough to hire one or two employees that will be squeezed to fund Obama’s follies.

    Very basic common sense concludes that this will harm JOB CREATION.

  4. 5

    Common Sense

    Taxing the rich will only make our economy worse that it already is. This class warfare created by 0-blama will continue to be a deterent to jobs and growth in our economy until he is gone.

  5. 7

    Nan G

    Obama likes to be ”technically” correct while lying his head off.
    For a great example see how this sentence it parsed:

    “Our businesses have gone back to basics and created 4 million jobs in the last 27 months – more private sector jobs than were created during the entire 7 years before this crisis in a little over 2 years.”

    That one sentence is so chock full of deceptions that, were Obama eyes not already brown, they would be!

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