Happy New Employment
As we are about to ring in the New Year, we can give thanks for the “Full Employment” Economy. That big Thank You needs to go to the manipulators of the official statistics over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and elsewhere in our government.
It should be remembered that the Participation Rate among working age Americans is at a multi-generation record low. 10 Million Americans or more burned through over a year’s worth of unemployment benefits, and still could not find a job which payed more than Welfare and Food Stamps.
These people, who have given up hope, were re-defined out of the ranks of the officially unemployed. Too bad for them, but they no longer count – or rather no longer are being counted.
However, some people were able to find full time jobs, even if the skill level – and pay level – was far below what had become accustomed to. Too bad for them, but having to accept half of what they used to be paid, doesn’t mean they are unemployed. Under-employed people don’t count – or don’t get counted by the BLS.
Some formerly unemployed Americans have accepted part-time jobs. Checking the official numbers, part-time positions have skyrocketed while full-time openings have plunged. (The surge in part-time vs full-time jobs must be one of the hidden “Benefits!” of ObamaCare.) But again, a job is a job, so no use complaining about it. And, no use expecting to be counted as unemployed.
But wait, there’s more! Many people who could find only a part-time job have realized that they have more leisure time and less income than they need. These enterprising souls have found second (or even third) part-time jobs. These Americans with multiple part-time jobs DO count – twice (or three times!). The second job has the interesting side effect of canceling out the joblessness of somebody else.
So, now you know why our Great Country is running at Full Employment. It makes no difference if there are Million of Americans who would like jobs but can’t find them, the leaders at the BLS and in the Administration still have the good fortune to be able to report the great employment numbers.
So, what would the Unemployment numbers show if the given-up-hopers, the under-employed, and the part-timers were counted properly? The proprietor over at www.ShadowStats.com, John Williams, has been doing that calculation for quite a number of years. It turns out that, without all the chicanery by the government hacks, the unemployment rate would show around 23%. That’s the same level as at the height (depth?) of the Great Depression years!
Considering that the US Workforce stands at just under 160 Million, there are almost 37 Million Americans unemployed. That’s 30 Million more Americans unemployed or underemployed than the official numbers.
Luckily, the coming New Year also happens to be an election year. You have the opportunity to identify candidates who actually will free up our Economy from the regulators’ and the taxmen’s shackles. Here’s hoping that our country isn’t dragged down the tubes before January 2017, when the new crop of leaders takes the reigns in DC.
Robert (Bob) Shapiro is self-taught in Austrian Economics and has consulted briefly for the governments of Mexico, Greece, Portugal and Spain. He has traded Gold & Silver and their stocks since 1970. Bob Shapiro’s blog is http://us-issues.com