Nearly At ‘Full Employment’? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie

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On Friday, we learned that the official “unemployment rate” has fallen to 5.5 percent. Since an unemployment rate of 5 percent is considered to be “full employment” by many economists, many in the mainstream media took this as a sign that the U.S. economy has almost fully “recovered” since the last recession. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, some Federal Reserve officials believe that “the U.S. economy is already at full employment“. But how can this possibly be? It certainly does not square with reality. Personally, I know people that have been struggling with unemployment for years and that still cannot find a decent job. And I get emails from readers all the time that are heartbroken because they are suffering through extended periods of unemployment. So what in the world is going on? How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work? Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading?

It is my contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point. The following are 10 reasons why…

#1 Since February 2008, the size of the U.S. population has grown by 16.8 million people, but the number of full-time jobs has actually decreased by 140,000.

#2 The percentage of working age Americans that have a job right now is still about the same as it was during the depths of the last recession. Posted below is a chart that shows how the employment-population ratio has changed since the beginning of the decade. Does this look like a full-blown “employment recovery” to you?…

Employment Population Ratio 2015

#3 The primary reason for the decline in the official “unemployment rate” is the fact that the government now considers millions upon millions of long-term unemployed workers to “no longer be in the labor force”. Just check out the following numbers

The number of Americans participating in the labor force has been on a decline for the past few years. Nearly 33 percent of the Americans above age 16 are not part of the workforce, the highest number since 1978. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report issued recently has found 92,898,000 Americans above age 16 not a part of the labor force of the country as on February 2015.

When President Obama took over the office in January 2009, nearly 80,529,000 Americans were not a part of the labor force. The number has increase by nearly 12 million over the last few years.

#4 Over the past couple of years, the labor force participation rate in this country has been hovering near mutli-decade lows

The labor force participation rate hovered between 62.9 percent and 62.7 percent in the eleven months from April 2014 through February, and has been 62.9 percent or lower in 13 of the 17 months since October 2013.

Prior to that, the last time the rate was below 63 percent was 37 years ago, in March 1978 when it was 62.8 percent, the same rate it was in February.

#5 When you add the number of “officially unemployed” Americans (8.7 million) to the number of Americans “not in the labor force” (92.9 million), you get a grand total of 101.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now. Does that sound like “full employment” to you?

#6 The quality of our jobs continues to decline. Right now, only 44 percent of U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week.

#7 Millions upon millions of Americans have been forced to take part-time jobs because that is all they can find, and wages for American workers are at depressingly low levels. The following numbers come directly from the Social Security Administration

-39 percent of American workers make less than $20,000 a year.

-52 percent of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

-63 percent of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.

-72 percent of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.

#8 The average duration of unemployment for an unemployed worker is still about twice as long as it was just prior to the last recession.

#9 Most Americans feel as though the Obama administration has done little to nothing to help the middle class. Just consider the following poll numbers

According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, Americans see government policies under the Obama administration as having mostly benefited wealthy people, large corporations and financial institutions.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said government policies have done little or nothing to help the middle class, and 65 percent said they have done nothing to help the poor. Sixty-eight percent said the policies have done nothing to help small businesses.

Meanwhile, 45 percent said the policies have done a “great deal” to help large banks and financial institutions, 38 percent say they have helped large corporations, and 36 percent say they have helped the wealthy.

#10 If the unemployment rate was calculated honestly, we would all be talking about the horrific “unemployment crisis” that we were currently enduring. According to John Williams of, the real unemployment rate in the United States right now is above 23 percent.

Our politicians and the mainstream media are attempting to convince us that everything is just fine.

But what they are telling us simply does not match the cold, hard reality on the streets.

And since the talking heads on television are proclaiming that we are nearly at “full employment”, that just makes millions upon millions of Americans that can’t seem to find work no matter how hard they try feel even worse than they already do.

If jobs are “easy to get”, then those that are chronically unemployment must have “something wrong” with them. That is the message that we are being given. If the mainstream media says that unemployment has gone way down, then anyone that is still unemployed must be really “lazy”, right?

When you are unemployed for an extended period of time, it can really suck the life right out of you. It can be really tempting to believe that you are viewed as a failure by your family and friends. And for the government to lie to us like this just makes things even harder.

If you are unemployed and can’t find a job right now, I want you to understand that you are caught in the midst of a long-term downward economic spiral which is going to get a lot worse.

When the government tells you that we are in a “recovery”, they are lying to you.

And when the government tells you that things are about to get a lot better, they are lying to you.

Everyone has times in their lives when they get knocked down.

The key is to always get back up and to never, ever stop fighting.

Yes, we are facing some really hard economic times. But that does not mean that your life is over. Never give up, and never give in to fear. Just do what you can with what you have today, and tomorrow get up and fight with everything that you have got.

The truth is that the best chapters of your life could be just around the corner.

Just don’t sit back and wait for the government to save you. If you are waiting for the government to save you, then you are going to be deeply disappointed.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

4 thoughts on “Nearly At ‘Full Employment’? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie”

  1. In order to tell a lie one must know the truth. I suggest some of these idiots actually believe the numbers they are putting out.
    If I were to design a lie, it would have to have enough truth in it so that people will believe it is true. These government people are not even attempting to do that, which means the truth is generally known and they are aiming at the people that are ignorant.
    There is no shame in being ignorant. There is shame in remaining in that state.
    The real question in this article is how do we change those employment figures to put our own people back to work?
    There has to be training, people to take the jobs we do have. The catch is that a lot of these people may not have the ability to learn those skills. A lot of people out there on welfare are there because they do not have the ability to adapt to the harsher job environment out there. A lot of people do not have the elementary skills necessary to change their condition. Like the ability to memorize. That minority will be with us forever or until they die of old age. Those that are trainable need that training to get the jobs.
    The stereotype is the assembly line worker of the past. The person that performed one function day in and day out. It required little skill. It paid exceptionally good. The reality is corporatons found people that would do assembly line work in other places around the world for a fraction of what people here were willing to do it for here. That low wage, low regulation, assembly line work was stolen from us by the likes of Nixon, Clinton, Bush and a bunch of other highly paid politicians changing the rules so it could happen.
    The expense of transporting those goods here is what has slowed this down and actually brought some automotive work right back to this country in non-union, lower paid jobs in places like Tennessee. Places with anti-union legislation in place like “Right to Work laws” which I translate as Right to Slave laws. Many Republicans support Right to Slave laws throughout the country. Democrats are not much better.
    Another problem is older workers. Older workers get sick at twice the rate of younger workers. That puts the insurance premiums up. There are unenforceable laws in place to protect older workers that do not work. Prove it was age discrimination. It often does not happen and companies get away with it. So the companies make people re-apply for their jobs with an increase in skill level they do not have. Happens all the time. So you have an enormous population waiting to take second rate pensions as they reach the age that they can do so. In Social Security that is a 4% cut per year. That often means a 24% cut before they start receiving Social Security.
    Many of the workers I have worked with over the years did not keep up with the advanced technology we needed to stay in our trade.
    The jobs they had were eaten up by computer technology and they did not have much of a choice. They retired early.
    This did not happen overnight. It took ten years to happen. When it did, they were basically in shock.
    We had a large population of handicapped people. They were often not trained and had to retire. Older non-union employers were let go as described above.
    This was in a time when newspapers were netting 9 million dollars a week, even after paying all expenses. The advertising rate was around 40-50 dollars per column inch and color advertisements were king. Resulting revenues for advertisers was sitting at 19% over people that did not advertise. That was then. Now revenues are way down, a lot of papers are even having to close their doors. Especially the small time weekly newspapers in rural towns.
    There is a lot of wisdom in the idea that the rich better enjoy it here because they are going to hell when they die.
    It is not because they are rich. It is because of the actions they have taken against the poor over the years. Some of what is totally immoral.
    The only real way to change all of this is to make it profitable to keep the workers here. That involves a really complicated economic change and someone has to pay for that change. Guess what, it isn’t going to be the rich.
    Tech might come to the rescue. But that means putting everyone full time with benefits on any job over 25-32 hours a week. It means servicing the robots that now do the assembly line work in order for those robots to produce ten or more times the production that a human worker can achieve. It means cutting production costs so that it is not profitable to hire people in countries that basically are slave labor with little wages that barely get by.
    It means passing a lot of that savings on to the customer so that they can compete with the foreign produced products.
    Servicing the computers that run the robots is a high tech job. Networking all ready is a high tech job in many cases.
    It requires 10 people where 40 people were often employed. The only way around that is lower hours and more people hired. It has to pay for itself in order to work.
    The rules have to change or the welfare state will simply overwhelm everyone and everybody.

  2. Those are frightening figures. The number of workers working less than 30 hours a week etc. Why don’t the main stream press report this on the news programs? It has been a well known fact amongst most well informed people on forums and blogs such as this fro many years now.
    So how can the politicians get away with such lies?

    • People do not like “negative” news. People don’t care. People do not think. If you think you match what you see with what you are told. If you travel through the US do you think unemployment is 5%?

  3. REAL numbers don’t lie. It’s inevitable that the U.S. is going to collapse either through another Great Recession or a Depression.

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