Just in time for the January Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, the purposely distorted monthly snapshot of American employment, an honest man has spoken out. Jim Clifton, Gallup Chairman and CEO, told the truth about the unemployment numbers that too few Americans understand. In his op-ed column, Clifton explained that the more people who drop out of the labor market, the better the unemployment rate looks. Clifton calls it “the big lie.”
|The truth is finally revealed about phony BLS jobs reports.|
Here’s how Clifton summarizes the ongoing BLS distortions. For Americans who have given up on finding a job and haven’t looked for work in the last four weeks, the Department of Labor excludes them from the unemployed even though, as Clifton puts it, “they are as unemployed as one can possibly be.” Today, 30 million Americans are either out of work or drastically underemployed.
Clifton defines a good job as one that offers 30 weekly hours or more, and provides a regular paycheck. Only 44 percent of the adult U.S. population has a job which fit into that category, far short of the 50 percent the nation needs to begin to put the middle class back on the right track.
While Clifton would like to see 20 million full-time jobs created, he’ll settle for 10 million. Also dragging down the nation’s return to full-time employment is the sharp drop-off in successful business startups. The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that for the first time in 35 years, business closures outnumbered new ventures: 400,000 opened, but 470,000 closed. Watch Clifton’s Fox News interview here.
Instead of generating outrage at how the statistics are manipulated, the mainstream media and Wall Street cheer as the White House takes false credit for having revitalized the economy. And, in an ongoing deception, Obama refuses to mention in public appearances or on the White House website that his executive immigration action will give work permits to around 5 million aliens which will allow them to lawfully compete with unemployed Americans.
Keeping Clifton’s insights in mind, here are the highlights from the January BLS report: the economy created 257,000 jobs; the unemployment rate moved to 5.7 percent from last month’s 5.6 percent, and the labor force participation rate rose from 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. Workweek length remained unchanged at 34.6 hours, while average hourly earnings increased 12 cents to $24.75. Of particular note, the biggest net employment gains, 46,000, came in the historically low-paying retail trade. A retail associate’s average hourly wage is $9.25 an hour.