Behind the Headlines Video
[For more background on this topic see Behind the Headlines segment of February 9, 2012.]
The single biggest employment gain in U.S. history occurred in June 1983: 900,000. The Reagan economy was starting to roar. The GDP grew at a staggering 9.3% rate.
The second biggest gain was last month: 873,000. This follows losses of 195,000 in July and 119,000 in August. And GDP is growing at a dismal 1.3% -- less than the rate of population growth. Unbelievable, huh?
[The Bureau of Labor Statistics has long enjoyed a reputation as a professional and non-partisan agency. Still, two BLS economists are donors to Barack Obama's reelection campaign.]
In its August unemployment report based on interviews of 30,000 adults, Gallup hinted that if the official unemployment rate didn't increase then someone is cooking the books.
Looks like the White House has a new cook.
[The Obama Administration can get away with reporting these astonishing numbers without question because most major media outlets support the president.]
For sake of argument, let's suppose last month's number is correct. September's 7.8% unemployment rate is similar to when Obama took office at 7.6%.
The number of employed is nearly the same at about 155 million. Although full-time employment is way down than in 2009.
For example, part-time workers increased by 581,000 last month alone while full-time jobs decreased by 216,000.
Here's the big change: since 2009, nearly 8 million people have been moved from the "unemployed" category to "not in the labor force." Although they don't have jobs they're not counted as unemployed. If they were then the official unemployment rate would be 13%.
[The U6 unemployment rate which is the "total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force" is currently 14.7%]
[Economists have observed that the shrinking labor force rate distorts the unemployment rate to make it appear better than it really is.]
[In contrast to the bleak situation facing the private sector, the unemployment rate for government workers has plummeted to 4.7%.]
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