The Meaning of the Jobs Report — What No One Is Talking About

IMG_1258Here we are, the first Friday of a new month and the November Jobs Report has come out. The reports consists of the number of jobs created and what the unemployment rate is. There are a number of problems with these reports, first off they are highly inaccurate, they come from different surveys and most of all the unemployment rate is figured by the number of people who are actively looking for work. If you give up and stop looking you arent counted anymore and the unemployment rate seems lower. This month 350,000 people stopped looking for work, thats why the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%. As I said, this figure is highly misleading since they dont count the millions who have given up. The other survey is usually off by up to about 30% per month. September and October were updated, turns out 50,000 fewer jobs were created that we had thought. To me its appalling that the news media doesnt explain this to people so they would better understand what exactly is going on. They just talk about the 2 top line numbers. Politicians are the same way, no details just vanity numbers.

PBS uses the U-7 Unemployment statistics that take into account each person out of work and also a more accurate measurement of jobs added. Their results are much more detailed than what you read in NYT or WSJ and they are much more accurate too. They calculate the unemployment rate to be 16.6% and the number of under/unemployed people to be 26.9 million people. They also state the number of longterm unemployed has been stagnant at around 5 million people, stagnant for over 18 months. These figures are dauntingly dismal. They show that for many years the U.S. has not lowered the number of people out of work. The top line numbers say the unemployment rate is 7.7% which seems like a dramatic improvement from when we were over 10%. But the truth is 27 million people are not earning enough to live on.

As far as job creation, few people talk about the fact that we need a minimum of 150,000 new jobs created monthly just to keep up with population growth. The average monthly job growth barely keeps up with the population growth let alone trying to get more people back to work. I have said many times on this blog that our politicians have completely failed at getting the longterm unemployed back to work. I have compared this jobs crisis to the terrorism crisis on 9/11. The GOP has obstructed Obama at every turn; and Obama has not done one thing for the long term unemployed since September 2011. Thats disgraceful.

Yes the economy did add jobs, yes its been many many months of job growth. That is better news than job losses. But let me be completely clear, this Jobs Report is dismal for those that dont have jobs. Its astonishing that in the richest nation on earth 27 million of its citizens are suffering, and their suffering is ignored or even mocked when they try to get help from the government.

Lets have some vision and leadership; lets think big as a country to put people back to work and to improve our crumbling infrastructure. Or, more likely, lets do nothing. Watch 27 million people go deeper into poverty until they are living on the streets. Lets have the U.S.A. become a war zone with people fighting for food.

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3 thoughts on “The Meaning of the Jobs Report — What No One Is Talking About

  1. Excellent article again Andrew ~ Think you should send it to some major media to let them know EXACTLY how they are ignoring a very important fact that impacts the economy and the unemployed.Everything is not coming up roses as they report. Well Well done

  2. True, but, what the public is doing is comparing figures from past years and administrations. I assume the inaccuracies have been present in those years as well. So, as a point of comparison, an actually accurate figure would be misleading.

    1. This article was about how the real numbers and their meaning are ignored; the number of people in the workforce, the number of people unemployed, the length of unemployment. The numbers everyone focuses on are the least important; especially not pointing out the only reason the unemployment rate went down to 7.7% was because 350,000 gave up and stopped looking for work. The numbers the public looks at, which you are correct, are equally unreliable every month. The public needs to be better educated.

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