Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO at Gallup, has acknowledged the dirty little secret that the Obama administration and their media lapdogs assiduously attempt to hide: the official unemployment rate reported by the U.S. Department of Labor does not accurately reflect the grim reality of American unemployment.
Clifton sardonically notes the “celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is ‘down’ to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.”
Then Clifton savages such claims. He points out that the Department of Labor simply doesn’t count someone as unemployed if they gave up looking for a job after four weeks of fruitless searching. Adding that as many as 30 million Americans are truly out of work or severely underemployed. Clifton writes bitterly: “Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast ‘falling’ unemployment.”
But Clifton doesn’t stop there; he explains exactly how ridiculous the Department of Labor’s standards are, noting that if a worker performs one hour a week and gets paid a minimum of $20, that worker does not count among their number of unemployed workers.
Even that shocking fact does not end Clifton’s litany of Labor Department subterfuges: if an American works part-time but seeks full-time employment, that American does not count as unemployed. He uses the example of someone who has degree in chemistry or math but can only find part-time work because that job is all that’s available.
Clifton blasts, “There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.” He notes, “Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older.”
Clifton concludes with a flourish: “I hear all the time that ‘unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.’ When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t ‘feeling’ something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.”