President Obama’s repeated references to Friday’s surprising decline in the unemployment rate epitomize his utter disregard toward the intellect of our citizenry. His citation of these numbers as evidence we are “climbing out of the hole we found ourselves in” reveals an assumption on his part that the folks are incapable of figuring things out for themselves. While Obama surely isn’t the coldest beer in the fridge, he isn’t stupid enough to actually believe Americans can’t figure out this scam. No, his use of the 9.7% figure to support his position is a blatant lie. After all, his own budget plan projects unemployment will remain higher than this figure at the end of the year. Even his own economic advisor, Christina Romer contradicited the President, saying, “The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative.”
The surprisingly low unemployment figure, of course, occurred as a result of an inordinately large number of job seekers dropping from the record as their unemployment benefits expire and many others have simply given up all hope of procuring employment. The government’s hiring of over a million temporary workers this year to perform the census also takes the edge off the numbers.
CNBC’s Rick Santelli emphasized that the commonly-used U3 numbers are being grossly manipulated in an effort to hide the depth of this recession. He explained on Friday how the Obama administration has lowered the total number of jobs supposedly available in the marketplace, taking the 136 million figure down to 129 million. Thus, the percentage of employed per available jobs rises and the U3 number magically goes down.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides far more data on actual unemployment than is ever reported by the mainstream media. The U6, which includes the U3 totals plus those who have given up plus part-time and temporary workers plus marginally attached workers, provides a much broader and more reliable measure of actual unemployment. The U6 doesn’t require any math or massaging of the numbers. It simply represents the data from the BLS in the least manipulable manner. Incidentally, the U6 has risen every month since Obama took office – and currently sits at around 18 percent.
The President got his headlines on Friday. We lost 20,000 more jobs in January and added a million more unemployed from last year. But the U3 mysteriously shrinks to 9.7% and Obama has the temerity to proclaim we are “climbing out of the hole”. This was a foolish mistake. Jobs have not been created (nor saved) and will not be in the foreseeable future. These false hopes shamefully advanced by the administration will only result in heightened frustrations down the road.