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Unemployment

August 22, 2012
Times Leader

Dear?Editor,

I will start by saying that the government is lying to you about unemployment. Now I will back it up with facts and numbers from the government agency called BLS, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (www.bls.gov) The real numbers that I use can be verified there.

How are they lying? They simply remove unemployed people from the labor force number and the unemployed number and figure the unemployment rate for who is left. There are two categories removed. One is called "Discouraged Workers." These are people who want to work and are available for work, and have looked for work in the past year, but are not currently looking for work because they feel there are no jobs available for which they can qualify. The second category is called "Marginally Attached Workers." These are people who want to work and are available for work, and have looked for work in the past year, but have not looked in the past four weeks. Both of these categories are not counted as part of the labor force, nor the unemployed.

Though these people want to work and are available for work, they are not counted. If someone wants to work and is available for work but does not have a job, shouldn't they be counted? These classifications seem pretty arbitrary to me.

Here is an example of how this numbers game works. Say we have a labor force of 100 workers and 10 of them are not able to find work. That gives an unemployment rate of 10 divided by 100 or 10%. Now, let's reclassify one of the unemployed as "Marginally Attached" or "Discouraged." We now have 9 unemployed out of a labor force of 99. The one unemployed we choose to not count. This gives and unemployment rate of 9 divided by 99 or 9.1%. We decreased unemployment 0.9% by just ignoring one person. Wow, the example economy must be recovering!

Now, let's look at some real numbers for July 2012. Per BLS, the labor force is 155,013,000 and the unemployed is 12,794,000. If you divide that out you will get the 8.3% you are being told. But, also per the BLS, not counted are a total of 3,381,000 "Discouraged and Marginally Attached" workers. To get the real unemployment rate, just add these people back to the labor force and the unemployed and do the math. This gives a labor force of 158,394,000 and an unemployed number of 16,175,000. Divide that out and you will get an unemployment rate of 10.2%. I guess 8.3% looks a lot better than 10.2%. So, if you just define some things differently and shuffle a few numbers, you can get any number you want. Maybe by election day it will be 7.5%, just reshuffle the numbers a little more.

These are all government numbers so if they wanted to tell you the truth they could. They are just playing with numbers to fool you, and unless you check into it, you will be fooled. We need people in Washington that will tell us the truth. We don't have them now and the current administration is the worst I have ever seen. Maybe we can fix some of that this November. The above is just one example.

Some letters to the editor that I see are just talk, without support of any kind, even valid logic, behind the statements. Some are just repeating what they have been told. If they would do a little research and provide some solid evidence, what they write would have more impact, and, after finding the truth, they might be making different statements.

Charles Melchiori

Barnesville

 
 

 

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