The Third International after Lenin

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mike Gimbel on the real unemployment numbers

Liars can figure and figures can lie. That is my conclusion from today's January, 2012 unemployment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Oh what a web of deceit they have woven!
The numbers that you see quoted on CNN and all the big business media are the seasonally adjusted numbers, NOT THE ACTUAL NUMBERS! Even in those seasonally adjusted numbers there are BIG CLUES as to "Something Smells".
According to the BLS press release, the unemployment rate decreased from 8.51% to 8.26% in January, 2012. I was not totally surprised since I anticipated that this drop might occur, based upon the good First-time unemployment applications reports from the last two weeks. I was a little surprised at the size of the drop, but not that there was a drop.
But then I looked at the numbers the BLS reported for January and I became very, very suspicious. The BLS reported an increase of 503,000 in the civilian labor force in January. That's ridiculously high. OK, maybe they had a "quirk" in the way they figure the numbers at the start of each year. They also showed an increase of 847,000 employed in January.  Now that was simply a ridiculously large number! They also showed a decrease in the unemployed of 339,000, another ridiculously huge number. Then came "the kicker" that showed that these numbers were "cooked": the Not in The Labor Force category increased by 1,183,000!!!!!
Yikes! How do more than a million people get added to the Not in the Labor Force category when, simultaneously, the civilian labor force is increased by 503,000? Did over 1.6 million people just get added to the work force in January? Of course not! In fact, because of the dumping of over 1.1 million into the Not in the labor force category, it made that category increase in January, 2012 to 41.54% of the available work force from 41.48% in December, 2011. In other words, without looking any further, it was apparent that unemployment INCREASED in January, 2012, not decreased.
Now let's get to the REAL NUMBERS:
The real unemployment rate increased in January, 2012 to 17.40% from 17.29% in December, 2011.
The real unemployment rate + underployment rate (Those working part time but seeking full-time work) increased in January, 2012 to 22.20% from 22.05% in December, 2011.
Now to the ACTUAL, NON-SEASONALLY ADJUSTED numbers (from Table A-6 in the BLS report):
The Civilian labor force (includes employed and unemployed) increased by 113,000 in January, 2012.
The Employed actually dropped by 736,000 in January.
The Unemployed actually increased by 849,000 in January. To some extent this is expected after the holiday season when many workers are let go.
In other words, the increase of 113,000 in the civilian labor force in January is computed as the increase in unemployed (849,000) minus the drop in the employed (736,000).
The Not In The Labor Force category increased in January, 2012 by 1,572,000!!! More than 1 and 1/2 million workers were discarded by the BLS, in January, into this "garbage dump" for data they simply do not want to account for!
Even in the non-sensical BLS 'official' unemployment rate methodology, that ignores much of their own data, the January unemployment rate was increased to 8.82% from 8.28% in December, 2011. That's a sizeable jump in unemployment, not a big decrease!
This economic depression is not going away any time soon! The unions, OWS and all left and progressive and community groups need to demand a massive WPA program! The answers to this economic crisis will not come from Washington. Washington is doing the bidding of Wall Street. Working and poor people are being forced to pay for Wall Street's problems. WE MUST FIGHT BACK!
--Mike Gimbel
The stupidities and absurdities by which mathematicians have rather excused than explained their mode of procedure, which remarkably enough always lead to correct results, exceed the worst and real fantasies of the Hegelian philosophy of nature.
                                                                  --Frederick Engels

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