Whenever you see the monthly official unemployment rates, you have to realize that they are modified rates, not actual rates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes people that are unemployed during the week of the survey and without a job for the four previous weeks. Hence, the latest report says that 8.1% of Americans are currently unemployed.
But that is not a real picture of what is going on in the American job market. The BLS figures do not take into account the millions of Americans that have had to take part time jobs because they have not been able to find full time work, those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and those who are so discouraged that they’ve given up looking for work.
There is a second statistic called the Alternative Unemployment Statistic. The AUS is always higher as it counts all of the employed except for the discouraged workers who have been out of work more than a year. The current AUS figure is 14.6%.
However, there is another even more realistic unemployment statistic that portrays a far more accurate picture of America’s job market. The SGS or Shadow Government Statistics encompass all of the different factors that deal with unemployment. The current SGS unemployment figure is a staggering 23%. That means that nearly 1 of every 4 Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, exhausted unemployment benefits or are so discouraged that they’ve given up looking for work.
Another indicator of the devastating employment picture is the cling rate. In better times, a number of people readily move from one job to another. However, that is not the case today. The number of people clinging to their current jobs is the lowest it’s been in decades. People are afraid to leave their current jobs for a new one for fear of losing the new one if there is any kind of layoff.
With all of these figures painting a very bleak picture of Obama’s America, I still don’t understand why so many people want to re-elect him. The last president to be re-elected with unemployment figures over 8% was Franklin D. Roosevelt, but he didn’t have 44 consecutive months over 8% like Obama. Actually, no president in the history of our nation has come close to Obama’s record. And yet, he continues to lead Mitt Romney by several points in most of the latest polls.
America can’t survive a second term with Obama. We’ve barely survived the first term let alone consider four more years of gloom and doom. To borrow a line from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, with slight modification:
“You are without doubt the worst president I’ve ever heard of.”
And Obama’s response would probably be the same as Captain Jack Sparrow’s:
“But you have heard of me.”