Yahoo! Finance asks the question: is the unemployment rate of 5.7% just a ‘Big Lie’? And then answers the question in the affirmative:
January saw non-farm payrolls jump by a better-than-expected 257,000, and data revisions lifted the totals for the prior two months by 147,000 more. Over the last three months, the economy added more than a million jobs, the strongest pace of labor market growth since 1997.
True, the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.7 percent, but that was for positive reasons, as more workers came back into the job market. “The reason the unemployment rate is higher is because the labor force is now estimated to be 1,051,000 bigger when the household survey tally of employment was up by only 759,000,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, explained.
Yet even before the numbers are released the chairman and CEO of the venerable Gallup polling organization wants you to know something about the unemployment rate: It’s all a “big lie” perpetuated by the White House and its co-conspirators on Wall Street and in the media.
“Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is ‘down’ to 5.6 percent,” Gallup’s Jim Clifton wrote in an attention-grabbing opinion piece published Tuesday on the polling firm’s site. “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.”
Clifton went on to explain why that official unemployment number is “extremely misleading”: If an American is so discouraged about the prospect of finding a job that he or she gives up looking for four weeks, they’re no longer counted as unemployed. Instead, they are considered to be out of the labor force.
Similarly, if someone is working part time but would rather have a full-time job, the official unemployment rate — a measure known as U3 — simply counts them as employed. “Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or health care 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,” he wrote.
You know things are bad when the mainstream media starts reporting things that the “right-wing nuts” were reporting years ago…