Friday, the Labor Department released the unemployment report for September, announcing that 263,000 jobs were lost in September and that the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1% to 9.8%.
What the Labor Department didn’t tell us is that the data shows a far worse picture, and the government is covering it up with assertions that vast numbers of people are simply dropping out of the labor force and going back to school.
The facts are that the employment level fell by 785,000 in September, at the same time that the population grew by about 275,000. (So, if the Labor Department was honest, it would admit that the labor force grew by about half that figure.) The net result is that U3a unemployment (U3 is the government’s narrowest measure of unemployment) shot up in September from 10.6% in August to 11.2% in September, while U6a jumped to 20.1%. These are the highest levels since the Great Depression.
Here’s the data:
No wonder the government is fudging the numbers. It’s trying to paint a rosy picture of a recovering economy, while the fact is that the employment situation is deteriorating just as bad as it was at the beginning of the year.
The government’s claim that people are dropping out of the work force during a recession when they need income the most is laughable. Are unemployed workers going back to school? No doubt. Yesterday, as I drove past a community college, I could see that its huge parking lot was completely full. But are we to believe that these people who once needed income to pay for housing, food, clothing and medical care are less in need of income now that they’ve layered tuition and books onto their list of expenses? Of course not. They need income even more now. And they’re just as unemployed.
Don’t be fooled. The unemployment picture continues to deteriorate at a frightening clip.