Is the Unemployment rate really dropping? [A review]
Just yesterday I read an interesting blog post written by the CEO of Gallup, Jim Clifton that really got me thinking.
Yes, each quarter the Department of Labor and Statistics comes out with “glowing, happy” figures that serve to tickle the ears of the American populace.
According to their most recent report of January 9, 2015 unemployment is declining with new jobs being added at a “steady but modest rate” (my words).
Mr. Clifton was not impressed and obviously is not buying into the Department of Labor and Statistics or White Houses’ hype that unemployment is at 5.6%. His in your face article entitled “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment” provided some very sobering points.
Mr. Clifton shared the following:
1) Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheer-leading 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.
2) None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed.
That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed.
3) There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare 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 in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
4) There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
5) Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older.
We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.
SO, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
The information provided by Mr. Clifton suggests two distinct facts to me:
1) The politicians and big business DO NOT CARE about the average American family’s economic health, welfare or the unemployment rate.
2) Americans are blindly relying on Washington, their State officials, and their employers to look out for their families’ financial futures; they don’t do their own research, most don’t read and educate themselves on things like finance, business, money management and the importance of saving.
My question to you is this; do you think it wise or smart to put your faith in statistics that insist that the unemployment rate it declining, indicating that our economic situation is improving, while the actual economic conditions around us is really not improving for the average hardworking family?
If you really want an answer, have a look at a few of the thousand if families that are crafting and molding their own financial future by using the same smarts and professional skills to start new businesses that allow them to earn the income what they deserve and want.
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