new labor and unemployment figures are just out,
and while the unemployment rate fell in December
to 5.7 from 5.9 the month previous, you won't
hear the Republicans cheering much about this.
reason is that the numbers surrounding the employed
labor force show, once and for all, what a load
of pure hooey the "unemployment rate" really is.
play with some numbers. There are 146 million
people in the labor force, give or take. The percentage
of unemployed is derived from that number. If
the labor force was 150 million (rounded up to
make the math clearer), and 5 million were unemployed,
the rate would be 3%. If 15 million were unemployed,
the rate would be 10%.
for the rate to drop two tenths of a percent of
146 million, it would be 146,000,000 X .002, or
292,000 people finding work in one month would
be quite an accomplishment. Clinton only averaged
240,000 a month, although of course, that was
over an eight year period. 292,000 new jobs would
have Bush trumpeting with joy, the election a
much surer thing.
how many jobs did the economy actually expand
by last month?
thousand. For the Republicans out there, that's
a one followed by three zeroes. It's not a lot
of jobs. It's less than 292,000. It's less than
240,000. It's less than the 150,000 new jobs needed
each month to keep pace with the growing population.
Dean noted that the Bush economy needed a full
month to accomplish what Clinton did each and
every three hours of his two terms add one thousand
jobs. Dick Gephardt called it "pathetic."
far since Bush took office, we've had a net loss
of 2.4 million jobs. That's as the labor force
grew by five and a half million new workers, which
means that there are nearly eight million more
people who need jobs than what there were in early
January of 2001. When Clinton left office, the
unemployment number was 3.9%. 1.8% of the labor
force is about two and a half million jobs lost
in reality, a lot more people are out of work.
Eight million more since just three years ago.
That isn't accounting smoke and mirrors; that's
the actual number. Eight million.
obvious enough that the Republican spin machine
didn't try to spin it. Too risky. They settled
for Bush crowing that the change from 5.9 to 5.7
was proof the tax cuts were working, and since
nobody with any brains takes him seriously anyway,
that was meant to keep the morons in line, and
the morons only. The rest of us can only watch
the slow motion avalanche of laissez-faire economics
that Bush's backers have foisted on us.
a previous essay, "Employment in America" (May
5th, 2003, http://www.zeppscommentaries.com/Sociology/labor.htm)
I explained how the unemployment rate was purest
fantasy of the utmost ray serene. The essay explains
how the real unemployment number was over 10%.
The numbers at the start of this essay prove it
again. The unemployment rate that the BLS uses
how does it work? How did we get a measurement
decrease indicating 292,000 people found work
when in fact, the job shortage grew by 149,000?
400,000 unemployed people gave up and quit looking
for work. Nearly half a million people simply
lost hope. And if you haven't looked for work
in the past four weeks, you are no longer considered
part of the labor force.
reason for the "improvement" is that the number
of new part time jobs increased, while full time
jobs decreased. Part time workers averaging more
than 34 hours a week are considered employed.
That's nearly 20 million workers. Mostly in the
poorly-paying service sector. If you want to consider
a job something that pays $160 a week (minimum
wage at 35 hours, minus those payroll taxes the
Wall Street Journal whines "lucky duckies" don't
have to pay), go right ahead. Take that job, and
give yours to someone who could use some actual
is really a disgrace is that the corporate media
keeps prattling on about "the recovery." What
is this recovery, exactly?
the Dow Jones has gone up, from 8,500 at the end
of 2002, to 10,500 now. That's pretty impressive,
and I bet a lot of small investors who got screwed
by the corporate scandals and the subsequent bombing
of the market take a great deal of pleasure in
knowing that if they had any money left to invest
in the market, having already lost it in the market,
they would have an 18% return on their investment
the Dow, like the unemployment rate, is a sham.
It's a fraud, a fake, a ruse. It's a load of crap.
number the Dow Jones uses? The one presently hovering
around 10,500? That is the value of the combined
30 company stocks that make up the Dow, expressed
the Dow is up 18%. Wow.
that the Dow is valued in dollars. And the dollar
over that same period is DOWN by 25%. Double wow.
Euro was worth 82 cents a year ago. Now it's at
$1.28. The Pound has gone from $1.50 to $1.85.
The Australian dollar has gone from 52 cents to
79 cents. And so on. The dollar, largely as a
consequence of the huge budget deficits and the
huge trade deficits, has been losing value steadily.
a way, letting the dollar devalue like that made
good sense. A year ago, a lot of economists were
worried about deflation, and bombing the currency
is always a good way to stave off deflation. And
of course, the inflated Wall Street numbers make
it look like the economy is rebounding.
isn't. The numbers are as phony and as misleading
as the unemployment numbers that came out this
killed thousands of people in an attack on a non-aggressor
nation that Bush gave patently false reasons for
staging. To this day, there are a lot of morons
running loose who really believe Saddam was an
immediate threat, had something to do with 9/11,
or that Bush really gave a damn about the Iraqi
people. There's one born every minute.
is counting on those same morons to believe that
the economy is recovering, and that soon they
will be happy and rich.
he's already gotten away (literally) with murder,
what's a little flim-flam?
Posted: January 11, 2004