Real Unemployment at 23% – Dampening the Excitement

There was a shadow over the national conventions of both political parties.   The people know that the economy is much worse than anyone in the power  structure will admit.  As usual, the people are right.  The real rate of unemployment is 23%, not the official figures we hear on a regular  basis.  The 23% figure  represents all of those unemployed no matter how long, the involuntarily under employed (part time), and those who have  given up looking, the discouraged, due to an chronically arid job  market.   If either wing of The Money Party, Democratic or Republican, admits to the the real unemployment  situation,  they would be forced to admit a complete system failure and  compelled to act now.  There would be no choice but to drop the  nonsense about austerity and balanced budgets. by John Williams – Shadow Government Statistics

Here is how the fantasy of the official unemployment figure works.

Official unemployment  includes those who are both unemployed during the week of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey and without a job for the  prior four weeks.

The official unemployment number we see excludes those marginally attached  to the labor force, discouraged workers, and those working part time due to the absence of full time work. The Alternative unemployment  statistic is always higher than the official version. It includes most  of the unemployed but excludes discouraged workers after twelve months  without a job (See Appendix).  In the chart above, you will see the  official government unemployment number (U-3), the alternative number  (U-6), and the figure, which includes U-3 and U-6 plus   all those unemployed who have given up. That represents 23% of the work  force. (Graph Courtesy of Shadowstats.Com Shadow Government Statistics – John Williams)

How can citizens make responsible decisions when the official unemployment  rate, 8.1%, is just 35% of the real unemployment rate, 23%?

Who benefits?

Another Useful Fiction – the Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used to measure the annual rate of  inflation.  The measure is vital to effective understanding of the real  state of the economy at any point and over time.  It is also the measure used for a variety of important programs like Social Security and other retirement programs. by John Williams – Shadow Government Statistics

There were major changes in the methodology for determining CPI prior to 1980 and again in 1990.  The net result is a much lower CPI and a much lower reported rate of inflation.   Combining the real CPI, based on the more robust and realistic 1980 CPI  with flat wages over the years explains why so may feel like they’re  treading water and struggling against increased prices.  It explains why so many wonder what’s going on given the reports that we’ve conquered  inflation.  (Graph Courtesy of Shadowstats.Com Shadow Government Statistics – John Williams)

It’s easy to conquer inflation, unemployment, etc. when you control of the  rules that define the outcome. Just change a few assumptions, and, as if by magic, inflation is no longer a problem.

The recent scandal in setting the Libor interest rate exposed bankers colluding to take more from customers by lying about  basic data that created this rate central to loan rates.  How is that  any different than what the government has done with with the CPI?  It  is the same process, distorting reality to benefit those distorting the  data.  There is one difference, however.  The international bankers  carried out their deception in secret, ashamed to show the public their  very profitable conspiracy.  The government, under both parties, is open enough for just about anyone concerned to see that they’re rigging the  game.  Since it is so beneficial to both parties, just about nobody  complains.

People know when they’re unemployed.  They know when their communities are  suffering in a very real way.  They know that it’s harder and harder to  keep up financially, that their incomes are inadequate to buy the  necessities and get a break now and then.  The deliberate manipulation  of unemployment, inflation, and other data to put a smiling face the  economic collapse isn’t working very well lately.

It’s time to clean house of those who deliberately manipulate information  vital to public awareness and debate and to dismiss those who enabled  this ongoing deception through affirmative efforts or silence in the  face of obvious distortions.

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