December 2, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Lest you be swayed into believing the spin coming out of DC and the WH stenographers corps [the legacy media] today's comparatively sunny unemployment report might well be the result of what economists call statistical chatter, meaningless data essentially unconnected to economic reality.
The go to Bureau of Labor Statistics stat has historically been U3, represented by today's 8.6% number. However this figure masks underlying conditions which should be frightening to anyone interested in this country's long term economic viability.
Please hold the conspiracy theories about "cooked" data coming out of BLS, its methodology has remained constant since the last major revision in 1994.
This is the bad news, U6 which measures those unemployed as well as those who wish to work but have simply given up looking at this time is 15.6%, a far cry from today's ballyhooed stat. Even worse, the rate of labor participation, a measure of how much of America works is at a 30 year low, 64%. You would have to go back to the early 80's and the Carter induced recession to find any parallel.
Additionally new applications for unemployment insurance are holding steady at 400,000 a month and GDP is struggling to maintain a growth factor of 2% [where it currently sits]. The confluence of these four data streams, U6, labor participation rates, new unemployment applications and a stultified GDP is entirely negative.
Hint, look for December's U3 to "unexpectedly," jump back to near 9%.
Conclusion, don't throw away your axe yet, we are by no means out of the woods.
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