Phantom numbers conceal dire conditions
by Stephen Lendman
Reports are manipulated to distort reality. Last year’s data overstated about half a million jobs.
Seasonal adjustments turn reality on its head. So does the so-called “birth-death model.” It estimates net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from others no longer operating.
During current economic hard times, it magically creates nonexistent jobs. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admits misreporting, saying:
“The confidence level for the monthly change in total employment is on the order of plus or minus 430,000 jobs.”
Mark Twain’s maxim about lies, damn lies and statistics perhaps applies mostly to government managed news misinformation. What matters most is concealed.
Claiming economic conditions are sound when real unemployment is 23% is one of the worst damn lies. Bipartisan complicity to destroy America’s social contract when it’s most needed shows total disregard for vital needs.
It proves government officials are enemies, not allies. Labor market reality reflects it. Monthly jobs reports are more trick than treat. Nearly 25 million Americans remain jobless. Low-pay/poor benefit part-time or temp ones replace full-time ones.
Each fall and winter well above trend job gains are reported. Every spring and summer, they’re reversed and then some. Hundreds of thousands of previously reported jobs vanish.
They never existed in the first place. Phantom numbers replace real ones. Official ones are statistical illusions. Obama is more jobs destroyer than creator.
The latest jobs report underwhelmed. Economist David Rosenberg said “classic measures of employment dispersion or breadth receded significantly.”
He asked how can growth be sound when 212,000 part-time jobs replaced full-time ones for “economic reasons.”
“And the broadest measure of unemployment remains stuck at a depression-like 14.4%.” For the past four years, long-term unemployment practically doubled to nearly five million.
I’ll take years to undo the damage. It’ll never be undone if destructive policies substitute for constructive ones.
It’s happening when economic conditions are weak, real inflation is high, food costs are soaring, taxes increased, and Washington’s waging war America’s social safety net.
Headline reports on January jobs ignored broader Household (population) Survey data. It documented 1.5 million fewer workers. The Establishment (Payroll) Survey lost 2.8 million.
People dropped out because of no jobs. Doing so makes them non-persons. They don’t exist. They’re not counted.
Season adjustments distort month-to-month reality. Raw data reveals hundreds of thousands fewer employed than headline numbers.
Month-over-month, the employment/population seasonally adjusted ratio was unchanged. Unadjusted it dropped 0.6%. Each tenth of a percent = nearly a quarter million people x 6 = nearly 1.5 million.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers rose 117,000 to 12.332 million. Unadjusted numbers increased 1.337 million to 13.181 million.
Unadjusted numbers reflect people wanting work who can’t find it. Adjusted ones conceal reality. Phantom data substitute fiction for fact.
On February 1, Economic Collapse headlined “Shocking Numbers That Show The Media (Lie) About Unemployment in America,” saying:
Labor force numbers have been contracting since 2006. In Obama’s first term, they were “more than three times greater than” the increase in “not in labor force” Americans throughout the 1980s.
Hundreds of thousands of new jobless workers belie headline numbers. In 2007, over 146 million Americans were employed. Today it’s 141.6 million despite annual population growth.
When government and media scoundrels say recovery’s proceeding on course and “unemployment is lower than” two years ago, they’re lying.
Facts show they fake it. BLS reports them quietly. Administration officials and media scoundrels ignore them. They show annually dropping labor force totals since 2006.
Doing so reveals economic weakness, not strength. Nothing ahead looks promising. How can it with destructive policies substituting for stimulative ones.
In January, nearly 90 million aged-16 or older Americans aren’t in the labor force. In four years under Obama, the total increased over eight million.
Over 40% of workers earn $20,000 annually or less. Over double that amount in urban America is needed to support family members. In many major cities, it’s much more.
Households live from paycheck to paycheck. They’re unprepared if trouble arrives. Euphoric markets pay no attention. They’re approaching record highs.
They’re disengaged from Main Street. They buoyed by money printing madness. Since 2007, world Central banks created multi-trillions.
How much they won’t say. In America, estimates range up to $23 trillion. Piling on did nothing to resolve crisis conditions. Currencies have been debased. Future inflation issues are raised.
Last fall, the Bundesbank fired a warning shot. It wants its Fed-held gold reserves audited. Germany wants part of them repatriated. Doing so could prompt a chain reaction.
At issue is lack of trust. Things aren’t as rosy as portrayed. Deep-seated trouble lurks sub-surface. Recovery is built on a house of cards. Shocks can crater it when least expected. Economic warfare could trigger it.
Goldilocks economies can turn rancid any time. Crisis conditions can erupt globally. Economies are interconnected. Contagion spreads. Debt entrapment, banker occupation, and austerity harm every country run irresponsibly.
It affects others. Problems keep festering. Irresponsible policies assure worse deep problems. Day of reckoning time eventually arrives. Forewarned is forearmed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.