October 5, 2012

Just in case Ms. Crippen, my 8th grade algebra teacher, is reading, let me start out with this disclaimer: I didn't make "A"s in math.

Having said that, let me hasten to say that what I have before me are figures that don't lie. Many of these stats are buried within the pages of the report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

If we were to simply go according to the BLS unemployment figure as the real measure of what's going on in the workforce, then Obama is doing better than Ronald Reagan ever did in his 1983-84 recovery. There is something inherently wrong with the 7.8% unemployment figure released Friday by the Labor Department.

The truth of the matter is that there is widespread mistrust of the report and the numbers because there are clear contradictions. 873,000 people said they had found work, but only 114,000 jobs were created and over 10,000 of those were with the government.

If you were to delve deeper it turns out that 600,000 of the 873,000 people were part-time workers. These people came back into the labor force and they pushed the unemployment rate down to 7.8 percent. So there is a contradiction here between the number of new jobs created and the number of people saying they found work.

Now the question is, how do you drop a third in the overall number and add only 114,000 jobs?

The answer lies in a little advertised fact that the actual unemployment rate is taken from what is called the "Household Survey." This is what found the 873,000 thousand people who found work.

Now the payroll survey, which is also a part of the jobs report, is the one which found only the 114,000 figure.

Thus you have a sharp drop in the unemployment rate and yet a miniscule figure of new jobs created.

Taking you back to January of this year, the number of jobs created for the month was 275,000 which is two-and-a-half times more than were created in September. For the year, the average number of jobs created monthly is 145,000. September's 114,000 figure is below average and is dismal.

We should be skeptical about the 7.8% figure. The reality is that the American people by and large are doing lousy.

The real numbers, the real figures we should be looking at and haven't since Jimmy Carter took it out of the equation when he was seeking reelection in 1980, is something called U6.  This is the broadest measure of unemployment which is almost completely buried within the records. U6 actually shows the number of people who are detached from the work force, who have given up looking for work, discouraged workers and those who are working part-time but looking for a full-time job.

The U6 figures show that we are precisely where we were the last two months, which is 14.7%. This is not a sign that the economy is on the right track! It is a sign that we are absolutely stuck.

Here is what the U6 reveals:

Total Unemployed (filling out unemployment claims regularly).......12.1 million;
Marginally attached (those have have looked for work, but have since stopped).......2.5 million;
Employed Part-time but want a full-time job.........8.6 million

This brings the total unemployed/underemployed figure to 23.2 million people.

This does not include those who have decided to permanently stop looking for work (the "detached"). These figures can be found in a different record called the Labor Force Participation rate.  The total from this statistic is often compared with those within the Departments of Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development (from which welfare and housing assistance comes). Incidentally, the figures from these stats should have been used by Romney when he cited his so-called 47% who live off the government.

Figures don't lie, but liars can figure!

As we are just 31 days away from the Presidential election, it would be best to have all the facts before us if we are basing our choice on the economy. 23,200,000 people, not permanently wanting to live on the government have been marginalized by the economy and are in great pain.

President Obama's economic policies are not working and if we continue down this path, the unemployment figure (remember this is based on roughly 50,000 randomly made phone calls) may come down, possibly another full percentage point. But the only number that will go up is the one that tells us more people are becoming dependent on government. And that figure is what the President, and all Democrats who have adopted the socialist agenda, hope for.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.