President Obama set a national record of over 40 weeks of 8% or higher unemployment figures. Then miraculously, his reported unemployment figures began to drop earlier this year. The main reason for that drop is that the federal government does not use an accurate figure. The statistics they use (U-3 unemployment figures) excludes people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and those who have just given up looking for a job.
Incorporating those groups drastically raises the unemployment rate and that is why the government excludes them. For instance, in February of this year, the White House made a big fanfare of an unemployment figure of only 7.8%. However, had they used one of their own more accurate figures (U-6 unemployment figures) the more accurate rate would have been 14.4%.
Economist John Williams says that to obtain a more accurate indication of the unemployment scene that one needs to add the U-6 figures with those of the long term unemployed that quit looking but still list themselves as unemployed. That calculation gives him a total unemployment rate of nearly 23%.
A recent Rasmussen Reports survey helps to reveal just how many people are out of work and have given up looking for a job. Among the questions asked were:
“1* Do you know anyone who is out of work and looking for a job?
2* Do you know anyone who, out of frustration with the difficult job market, has given up looking for a job?
3* Is the job market better than it was a year ago, worse than it was a year ago or about the same?
4* A year from today will unemployment be higher than it is today, lower than it is today or about the same as it is today?”
Would you be shocked to learn that 69% of the people surveyed said they know of someone out of work and looking for a job? When you realize that these are people polled who most likely don’t know each or know the same people. If 69% know of someone out of work and looking for a job, you would expect the unemployment rate to be considerably higher than 8%, wouldn’t you?
The results from question #2 truly reveal the problem with the unemployment numbers being thrown out by the White House. A whopping 42% of the people polled said they know of someone who has gotten frustrated and quit looking for work.
This is huge and has a tremendous impact on what the true unemployment rate really is. This result supports the generally held belief that several million or more Americans have gotten frustrated and given up looking for a job. If they were added into the overall unemployment rate, it would cause it to jump significantly higher. The result would be a huge blemish to his supposed economic recovery that so few of us see.
Only 26% of respondents said the job market is better than a year ago. Forty percent said it’s about the same and 31% said it’s worse than it was a year ago.
As to what the unemployment rate will be a year from now, 26% said it will be lower while 30% said it will be higher. The majority, 38% said they expect it to be the same. I wonder if they are referring to the White House’s reported unemployment rate or a more factual one?
This recent poll clearly shows how unrealistic the White House unemployment figures really are and just how few Americans have a favorable outlook concerning America’s job market. They see the future to be even gloomier than the present, which is gloomy enough. The majority don’t see things improving which is another blemish on Obama’s economic and job policies.