Unemployment is not 5.5%, and the American public deserves honesty.
People line up at the food pantry at Sacred Heart Community Service on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Washington, D.C – Obama supporters are citing recent Department of Labor unemployment statistics as proof that the President is improving America’s economy. According to the Labor Department, February’s unemployment rate is at the lowest monthly rate since 2008. Once above 8%, the dip in the number has many confident that the country is back on the right track. Those people are wrong, as the number is a total lie.
When the mainstream media and the Obama administration release unemployment numbers that claim only 5.5% of Americans ages 16 and over are without work, Americans become confident. They are under the illusion that the job market is improving and they will be able to pay their bills for the foreseeable future. What they don’t know is that the American government skews the numbers to exclude many important factors, which show the story is full of pot holes and inaccuracies.
The February Jobs Report claimed the economy added almost 300,000 jobs, and should be seen as a good indicator of sunny times ahead. However, the Obama administration is being completely dishonest with such an interpretation.
In a speech before the job report was released, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said, “Real unemployment, government figures, excludes those people who have given up looking for work and those people who are working part-time when they want to work full-time. If you add those numbers together government statistics tell you that real unemployment in America is over 11%. Youth unemployment, which we never talk about, is 18%. African-American youth unemployment is close to 30%.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the true unemployment rate has risen almost 10% since 1995. The BLS uses the same factors Senator Sanders mentioned during his speech last month, such as Americans forced to work only part time as well as people who have given up looking for a job, in order to show that more than a quarter of working age Americans can’t find employment. Released the day after the Jobs Report, the BLS found 92,898,000 Americans are not participating in the job force. That number, 23%, is the highest rate in more than thirty years.
The jobs Americans are finding are less than stellar. According to the Social Security Administration, 39% of Americans earn less than $20,000 a year, with 72% making less than $50,000. Not even half of American workers clock more than 30 hours a week. That income looks poor when the average American household possesses more than $15,000 in credit card debt, and more than $32,000 in student loan debt.
The fact that Americans are swimming in economic disarray should dispel any notion that the dishonest unemployment statistic shows any true improvement in the finances of Americans. 1 in 30 American children are currently homeless and homelessness rates rose in 31 states. Those are the true facts.
Any time a president touts the numbers, he does so in an argument that he is the reason why the economy has improved. The only way that is possible is if said president and the government get out of the way. In America, that is not the case. According to a 2014 study by the National Association of Manufacturers, regulations cost the American economy $2.028 trillion in 2012. The corporate tax rate is the third highest in the world behind only Chad and the United Arab Emirates. The exceptionally high rate has hindered the job market as companies take jobs overseas to countries with a lower corporate tax rate.
The above facts do not stand in line next to the narratives of the mainstream media, which follow the Washington elite like a lapdog. Using 5.5% as an unemployment rate gives Americans confidence. It tells them if they don’t currently have a job, they will soon be employed. That confident American, if he or she consumes mainstream media, is shielded from the harsh reality. The American government is being blatantly dishonest, and Obama’s economic policy is hindering the job market.