By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Revised)
The way the latest unemployment numbers were reported by the mainstream media (MSM), you would think the Great Recession was over and the United States was solidly on the road to recovery. The Associated Press reported the numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with a story that said, “The United States added 227,000 jobs in February, the latest display of the breadth and strength of the economic recovery. The country has put together the most impressive three months of job growth since before the Great Recession. The unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent. It was the first time in six months it didn’t fall, and that was because a half-million Americans started looking for work.” (Click here for the complete AP story.) I don’t see how the MSM can say this one number is “the latest display of the breadth and strength of the economic recovery.”
Cyclical and structural unemployment are gripping the nation. Certain jobs are gone forever or, at the very least, for a very long time. Maybe that’s why millions of people have given up even looking for work. Forbes.com reported, just a few weeks ago, millions have stopped looking for work, and the government has stopped counting them. The report said, “In the latest, much celebrated, unemployment report, the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history. That means that under President Obama nearly 5 million Americans have fled the workforce in hopeless despair. The trick is that when those 5 million are not counted as in the work force, they are not counted as unemployed either. They may desperately need and want jobs. They may be in poverty, as many undoubtedly are, with America suffering today more people in poverty than in the entire half century the Census Bureau has been counting poverty. But they are not even counted in that 8.3% unemployment rate that Obama and his media cheerleaders were so tirelessly celebrating last week.” (Click here for the complete Forbes.com report.)
While we are on the subject of unemployment and poverty, the number of people on food stamps jumped to more than 46.5 million in December 2011! It is a new all-time record. How can the nation be in a true “recovery” with increasing numbers of Americans on the government dole?
According to economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com, the latest good news about job creation is distorted with what he calls “massive seasonal adjustments.” The latest Shadowstats.com report, last Friday, said, “With heavy warping of the seasonal-adjustment process from the effects of the extreme nature of the current downturn, the resulting employment gain and unemployment rate level remain of questionable quality and significance.” If unemployment were calculated the way BLS did it in 1994 or earlier, the true unemployment rate would top 22% according to Shadowstats.com. Williams also says, “The outlook for the broad economy remains bleak, despite relatively upbeat February payroll data. Bank lending remains impaired, while household income has taken a new hit, as indicated in recent reporting. Separately . . . annual and monthly growth in the broad money supply appears to be stalling, again. That likely is a further indication of mounting difficulties in the systemic-solvency crisis.” (Click here to go to the Shadowstats.com home page.)