Obama Administration Lying About Unemployment

I don’t make this accusation lightly.  Fudging numbers is one thing.  But the administration’s claim that unemployment fell to 7.6% in March (from 7.7% in February) is based on numbers that are so far-fetched that they can’t be anything but flat-out lies. 

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that employers added 88,000 jobs in March and that unemployment fell to 7.6%.  The former statistic comes from the BLS’s employer survey, while the latter number is taken from the household survey.  I’ve used the following spreadsheet to track the household data since the onset of the recession in 2007, and to make realistic calculuations of unemployment (U3″a” and U6″a”) that assume that a constant percentage of the population needs to be employed to make a living.  Take a look at this data:  Unemployment Calculation.

Note the following:

  • While the employers’ survey claims that 88,000 jobs were added in March, that figure is contradicted by the household survey, in which the employment level (the number of people actually holding jobs) actually fell by 206,000!
  • In spite of that big drop in employment, unemployment actually fell because, according to the BLS, the civilian work force fell by 496,000!  Another half million people have mysteriously vanished from the labor force.
  • According to the data, since October 2008, the civilian labor force has grown by only 152,000 workers in spite of the fact that the population has grown by 10.2 million.  That’s only 1.5% of that added population! 

The notion that only 1.5% of the people added to our population in the last 4-1/2 years need to work for a living is absolutely preposterous.  There’s no sugar-coating it; it’s a flat-out lie. 

An honest calculation of U3 unemployment now stands at 10.6%, the highest level since August.  Per capita employment (the percentage of Americans working) has now fallen four out of the last five months and has declined eight out of the last 13 months.  This is consistent with the decline in per capita GDP that we saw in the 4th quarter of last year. 

If Republicans were smart, they’d be calling for an investigation of the BLS’s reporting.  The BLS is lying.  Whether Obama himself is complicit in the lie – who knows?

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