9% Unemployment Rate is a Statistical Lie

Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com   (updated)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest unemployment figures last Friday.  There was a stunning drop to 9% from 9.4%.  How did that happen?  Is the economy really getting better or is the government up to its old statistical tricks.  According to the mainstream media, the economy is getting better and the so-called recovery is alive and well.  Here’s how the Associated Press reported the story, “The unemployment rate is suddenly sinking at the fastest pace in a half-century, falling to 9 percent from 9.8 percent in just two months — the most encouraging sign for the job market since the recession ended.  More than half a million people found work in January. A government survey found weak hiring by big companies. But more people appear to be working for themselves or finding jobs at small businesses.” (Click here for the complete AP story.)

“More than half a million people found work in January.”  How?  The BLS reported there was only a tiny gain of 36,000 workers to the payrolls, and even that number is a statistical lie, according to economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com.  In his latest report (last Friday), Williams said, “Incredibly, despite ongoing regular overstatement of payrolls by the BLS, the BLS appears to have upped, not lowered, the excessive biases in its latest rendition.  Without the higher bias, the reported January 2011 payroll gain of 36,000 would have been a decline of 52,000.” 

As for the big drop in the unemployment number down to 9%, you can credit that with something the BLS calls “seasonal adjustments.”   The government takes into consideration things like cold weather and snow when it puts together unemployment figures.  Williams thinks these seasonal adjustments have been distorted by the dismal economy during the past few years.  Williams says, “. . . the extraordinary severity and duration of the economic duress in the United States during the last three to four years has destabilized traditional seasonal-factor adjustments and the related monthly reporting of certain economic series.  The unemployment rate rose in January 2011, not seasonally adjusted.  The 0.4% decline reported in the headline January unemployment rate appears to be a seasonal-factor issue.”  In other words, seasonal adjustment jobs are created out of thin air and are not really there for people.  In reality, unemployment increased slightly.  It did not decrease.

While we are on the subject of reality, after one year of not looking for work, the unemployed are no longer counted in government statistics.  If unemployment was computed the way BLS did it prior to 1994, the true unemployment rate (according to Shadowstats.com) would be 22.2%.  I wonder why the mainstream media feels compelled to only do stories that support government statistics.  There is bona fide analysis that can show government numbers are rigged to make things look better than reality.

Yesterday, millions of Americans celebrated the unofficial holiday called the Super Bowl.  In closing, I would like to share part of a comment I received recently from a regular reader named Samantha.  She writes, “We are living in Roman circus-like times!  Keep the people entertained and they don’t have to THINK too much and certainly don’t have to notice the corrupt activities of our elected officials.  The “Stupor Bowl” is an intentional dumbing down of our society.” 

In no way do I think the government is in control of the Super Bowl, but the media coverage leading up to this event was over-the-top.  One day last week, I was watching one of the cable networks and the rundown went from Egypt (as the top story) to the Super Bowl as the second most important story.  Do you really think the Super Bowl should be the second most important story Americans should be concerned about?   The public is misinformed about the serious and enormous financial trouble the country faces.  I blame the mainstream media for this and the non-stop coverage leading up to the Super Bowl as a prime example.  The MSM spent millions of dollars and hundreds of man hours on this while the country is facing “catastrophic” financial problems, according to a recent speech given by Fed Chief Ben Bernanke.  (Click here for complete story about Bernanke’s speech.)  Yes, the Super Bowl should be covered, but so should many other stories that get little or no attention at all.  There should be some balance.  Instead, all we seem to get from the MSM is superficial news.

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  1. Steve

    “Bread and circuses” has been on my mind this week as well. However, at the end of the day, folks have several choices of how to spend their time but for whatever reason, most choose to keep their heads in the colon of the federal reserve via the television. So let the circuses continue!

    • Greg

      Thank you Steve and Dean.

  2. dean

    The unemployment rate in California has been hovering around 12.5 percent for many months now. How in the world is this not covered or news at least every week, on every major station. California is like a country on it’s own. I should now, since I live in the State.

  3. Steve A.

    What’s the old addage? “Liars figure and figures lie”. This sham reminds me when we were heading to recession (2 quarters of dropping GPD). Uncle sent us all checks to spend at Walmart. Presto-Change-O no recession.

    As little as 4 years ago employers in my area were begging people to work part time for a second income. We didn’t have enough people to fill all of the vacant jobs. Fast forward to now. I have a few friends that were making pretty serious money, got laid off and one now makes eleven dollars an hour and is part time. The others are worse off and see no future in their former fields.

    • Greg

      Yes Steve A you are correct and those folks that have taken big pay cuts are not showing up in the unemployment numbers. They are employed in the government’s eyes. As I said in the post, things are worse than reality.

  4. Lew

    As an American, I find it very disheartening that we can not trust anything our government tells us, and the “Official” unemployment numbers make it obvious that we can not. Even using the most conservative figures, the unemployment rate is around 18% (as a low) to 22% (as the high). The use of “adjusted” numbers has been going on for quite some time and has made a rational analysis difficult. The funny thing is, the Department of Labor does provide all the necessary data (unfiltered) to determine the actual rate of employed, unemployed, etc.

    I also believe that the federal Debt is much higher then what we can determine. The term “out-of-control-spending” does not begin to describe how we have been sold down the river by our government.

    I would have to agree Greg, Rome is indeed burning.

    • Greg

      Thank you Lew.

  5. John Bernard

    The sad thing about this is that the government of the US and its media sycophants have such obvious disdain for the general population. The mass of citizens don’t think, don’t want to think, and are hanging on hoping that lies will become true somehow. Any slight indication of opposition or awakening is immediately ridiculed on the cover of Time,Newsweek, or the leads of MSNBC et al.

    I doubt you will see an Egypt behavioral situation in this country but the building pressure must manifest itself at some point. How this will happen and what will trigger it is a mystery. The great majority of Americans have no idea of what looms;even with the hints from around the world.

    There is global warming alright, political warming from desperate people. The United States is in a singular position in that the only pressure point so far has been inflation in energy and food. Once this accelerates things will get tough.

    • Greg

      John Bernard,
      People are not going to know what hit them. Thank you for weighing in on this post.

  6. markm

    Hello Greg,

    Wow, we new the numbers were fudged before, but now BLS is doubling down on the tactic.

    A stunning blatant lie!

    Good article and actually I am surprised that they resisted blatantly fudging the numbers this long. It is their tactic to lie, it is part of their make-up.



    • Greg

      Thank you MarkM and Mitch Bump for the support!!

  7. Mitch Bupp

    Like a voice of truth in a sea of lies, Greg Hunter, is one reporter who is not speaking with a forked tongue or writing with a crooked pen!

    I wish one economist would generate the unemployment and economic numbers using the old formulas! I would like to see a side-by-side breakdown of the economic numbers by using the different formulas the federal government. The fact also remains that wages have seroded also. The inflation numbers also just don’t match what I see in the stores.

    Thank You again Greg for being a beacon of truth in a sea of lies.

  8. Art Barnes

    Greg, your quote, “I wonder why the mainstream media feels compelled to only do stories that support government statistics”, is the question of our times. I’m dropping out of MSM turning off cable on April 1. I think I will buy some gold with the $100 monthly savings. MSM’s justification of “bailout gate” and its sub-component statistical falsehoods is enough for me. My new tee shirt you ask? –
    “MSM Dropout”

    • Greg

      Thanks Art Barnes.

  9. Rod

    Despite all the vulgar ads, the 24 hr. a day hype, the Super Bowl is a nice midwinter break from the constant drudgery of politics, markets and pundits. I for one can breathe a sigh of relief for a couple of hours and watch small town America do what it does best! Congratulations Green Bay!

  10. Mr Dean

    How do you know when a politician is lieing ?

    His lips are moving

    It won’t matter if they are blue or red when this one blows because the ship is going down and the reason is because our politicins are
    all controlled by the same puppet masters and untill we start enforcing the law of treason against these criminal then we will continue to suffer.

    Apart from having a jobless recovery we are on track for hyper inflation as a mean to rob you’re money out your pockets by these banksters who was not only selling toxic debt as tripple ‘A’ but were shorting the very stock they were selling and the SEC thinks it all legal.

    • Greg

      Mr. Dean,
      I also see little difference between the 2 parties. Thank you for the comment.

    • Robert Sweetmann

      You are absolutely spot on mate-I wrote to my both my US Senators & LOCAL US Rep. to put in in plain English. What occurred with giving Bush and his Cabinet a pass over 911, Iraq, Afghanistan, and running up over a Trillion in War Debt, Rendition(kidnapping without due process) the Patriot Act, the Bailouts allowing the investment banks & US treasury to extort Congress for another Trillion, then on top of that the recent 2012 Defense Authorization Act giving local police coupled with our military the right to pick anybody up merely on suspicion and lock em up with no due process indefinitely is no differ than Germany’s Third Reich under Adolf Hitler and his SS storm troopers.

      I told all of these Rep’s of mine exactly what I just wrote and further stated that these elected people in no way can be considered Americans, and if anyone is to be considered terrorists as a clear & present danger to the interests of the American people then simply examine what they did and the results that have occurred. Do a simple look-up in a dictionary of what Fascism(National Socialism) is and you’ll find its a marriage between government & government to control a society and that’s what you have with the off-shore banking cartels sitting at the head of the table as they were before, during and after WWII. Who do you think was the last emissary from the West(FDR) who accompanied Sumner to meet with Mussolini who had sway with Hitler as a last gasp effort to prevent a full scale war with Britain, France & ultimately us. That’s right the emissary from the Bank of Italy representing the collective voice of the Bank of England and the Rothchild family banking empire.

      The evidence speaks for itself.

      Thus they are in fact the enemy of the American people, in fact Lt. Choi who was thrown out of Bradley Manning s trial on DemocracyNow.org stated his stand begins and ends with his West Point oath as a young cadet when he said he would defend the US Constitution to all enemies both foreign and in this case, “domestic”, referring to both the Bush and Obama administrations who work for the same puppet-masters. No President since JFK has not been a member of the CFR.

      I do know that had this happened on my Fathers watch(the greatest generation) it would never have occurred, where these perpetrators would know full well the consequences they would face from the people had they ever tried..
      This last act by them of passing the Defense Authorization Act of 2012 in my judgement when you look at the entire timeline of events of what they have done is because they know the lid is about to come off the pot, and when it does it is no different than during LBJ’s presidency when he was considering sending an additional 100 thousand troops over to Viet Nam after the Tet offensive in 1968, but was persuaded not to because the National Security Advisors impressed upon him that the nation was also about to blow it’s top with so much civil strife going on in the streets and massive protests in front of the WH and Congress with huge riots the military would be needed under marshal law to bring social order back into play.
      Same scenario. In fact if you think these jokers aren’t capable of such crap, simply do a Google on Operation Northwood and look at this declassified memo sent to JFK on what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was recommending.

      That’s what blows my mind about these squeaky clean types who think conspiracies don’t exist and that all these people who have such wealth & power don’t use it to further their control over people for their own benefit.

      Human nature in and of itself conspires all the time. Conspiring among one another to start a business, or win a football game is no different than a global strategy by the worlds most wealthy & powerful people to influence outcomes in world affairs.

      Why do we have a Department of State and a CIA? Duh?

  11. Chris

    The B(L)S is a joke and a bunch of liars. They are covering up the fact that the U.S. economy is very fragile and continues to get weaker. I trust John Williams and not the B(L)S. He doesn’t sugarcoat the facts.

    • Greg

      B(L)S, funny I like it and Mr. Williams too!!

  12. PatriotRider

    UNEMPLOYMENT drops to 9.0%…I’m now doing the same thing Russians used to do back in the Soviet era while reading Pravda: they read the headlines, then automatically assumed that the exact OPPOSITE of what’s being stated is the actual truth.

    • Greg

      I wonder if the MSM knows they are rendering themselves irrelevant? Thank you for the tip on how to read the MSM!

      • Diane Carol Mark

        Hi Greg,
        You’ve hit upon a key point: the ability to render a source irrelevant if it becomes “untrusted”. This is a great topic for an article and applies to a broad range of sources, i.e. political, social, pharmaceutical (vaccine debacle), food safety (gmo debacle), and so on.

        This is actually a game changer and unintended by the folks instigating their game.

        🙂 Diane

  13. Richard Reed


    Super Bowl is symptomatic of Americas problem. Firstly, it is not small town, it’s big business franchises. Teams are not local but national if not international, players (many with arrest records)are traded like baseball cards season after season, none representative of any city or state. Sports has merged with Hollywood and the country is hooked and mesmorized. The populace is distracted by sports/hollywood junk while the country burns. Sorry if this bursts your bubble, but this country needs to get it’s priorities straight.

  14. Jason

    the cracks are widening-Govt has finally resulted to blatantly lying with every figure; .5% inflation? plunging unemployment? yet food up 17% in the 3 month period beginning at time of QE2. Desperation is in the air. I did all of the things that are expected to bring success-good grades, double diploma in vocational school, worked as apprentice till I aquired my HVAC license. Currently unemployed and have absolutely no prospects of any meaningful employment. Thank God for the recovery or things would be bad. My next plan of action is getting my TEFL cirtificate and get on a plane and go get a job. Wages/cost of living much better in many countries.

    • Greg

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and plans here.

  15. Senator Blutarsky

    My T-shirt will read ” Our forefathers would have been shooting by now,,,,,,,”

    • Greg

      I want one please!

  16. James

    This article is spot on. While I myself did watch and thoroughly enjoy the Super Bowl I certainly agree that the major goal of the government right now is to keep people from thinking too hard. Anybody with half a brain is starting to wake up and see the big picture forming. From the direct support of a dictator by our government to the actions of the Fed, the less the people know the better. I must say personally it absolutely infuriates me when people say “I don’t pay attention to politics”. In my opinion the government has worked very hard to make as many people as possible have this attitude. We as a nation have been far too willing to sit back and let the nanny state “take care of us”, a terrorist attack, take our freedoms they are too dangerous for us to have. Financial collapse – let’s give the fed a blank check to fix it. World events too upsetting to watch, just change the channel to American Idol. These times are coming to an end however, when too many people don’t have jobs and can’t afford a TV then the only thing they have to pay attention to are politics, when the government cuts food programs too many people will be hungry to ignore the commodities markets. We are headed for some tough times and we have nobody to blame but ourselves for letting this foolishness go on for far too long. Both democrats are republicans are on their way out soon. This is going to get ugly.

    • Greg

      Thank you James, Bob and Dan!

  17. Dan

    The saying actually is: “The figures don’t lie..but liars figure.”

  18. Bob

    What do you want the government to say, that the system is failing the jobs are going overseas, we are having inflation troubles. I think all the bad news is out if you want to look. You want the leaders to lead the sheep keep the fear down that’s what leaders do. The foolish leaders take us in to useless wars and tell us, other people oil will pay for the war. It wasn’t so good after that worthless Vietnam war, we had to do some inflation after that one. Some people get rich from useless wars some people have to pay for them and that is the big lie. Peace

  19. slingshot

    To put it point blank. Just what are you going to do about it? I have been reading this information for years. Listen, I would say that Greg has done one heck of a job informing us but what if anything, changes the outcome. So what does it matter if they lie their butts off using askewed numbers. Do you care? Meantime they print money into infinity and our buying power falls. You see it at the food market. Think we have a good car industry? Read the sticker and find out where the car parts are manufactured. Not Assembled. The USA is just a final assembly plant and you do not sustain an economy on nut and bolt turners. You can’t buy, USA, cause there is nothing made in the USA. I do not care about the unemployment numbers for when the time comes, things in this country will come apart. At this point the debt numbers don’t count for we can not repay the debt. If you have a job, what will matter is the price of food and gas. We are headed for a lifestyle change. I would like you to think about what those people in the middle east were living on. Two Dollars a day! Rolling blackouts in the cities. Clean water? Can you handle that?

    Thanks to all who post. I enjoy your comments. Just FIRED UP.

  20. Wondering

    I’m wondering if all the students who graduate and move in with their parents and can’t find a job–or can’t find a job and move in with their parents–are ever counted as unemployed? They never officially get into the workforce so they can’t officially get out of it.

    • Greg

      I think they are not counted because they were never fully employed. That is a good point you have brought up. Also not reflected in the gov stats are people who have went back to work at a greatly reduced pay.

  21. Art Barnes

    Wow, Greg, you are really gearing up now, your quote …”I wonder if the MSM knows they are rendering themselves irrelevant?” is quite a question. My answer is no they do not as of yet, because it has worked for them for so long now – but wait till they try and change sides as the traitors they are because they see their ploy(s) are losing ground, the Government will denounce them and the peoples side won’t have need for them either because they were the major problem in the first instance. They really will be the 4th branch of government without a country. My take is simply, “them them eat cake”
    when the time comes.

    • Greg

      Thank you for weighing in here.

  22. woody188

    Time to get your heirloom seeds and plant your victory garden. If you don’t plant this spring, you might not be eating this fall. I’ll be planting over an acre this year and got the wife a canning book. It’s back to basics. The alternative is too scary.

    • Greg

      Thank you Woody 188.

  23. GrannyB

    Got a neat t-shirt at the gun show this weekend:

    Recession: Your neighbor loses his job.
    Depression: You lose your job.
    Recovery: Obama loses his job.

    01/20/2013 – The end of an ERROR!

  24. Brian

    “While we’re on the subject of reality,”….hahaha!! You nailed that one Greg. Thats just like every time I have to zip past MSLSD to get to Nova on PBS i have to yell “And now for something incredibly stupid!!!” I usually cant make it through the first headline without thinkin Eagles baby…”bubble headed bleach blonde comes on at 5, tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye”….

    You know, come to think of it, these “reporters” (hahahhah) spend more time in wardrobe than TIME SPENT TELLING THE TRUTH.

    • Greg

      MSLSD, LOL!!! Thanks.

  25. George

    Our government reported unemployment rate has become as laughable as the inflation rate. The government has lost all credibility with most people that remotely keep up with the news. Even people with their head in the sand had to laugh at this latest stunt. Just proves the MSM will run with anything and further confirms they are the propoganda arm of “our government”. Sad huh? Thank you Greg for your site.

    • Greg

      It is sad. It is hard to imagine I was once part of the MSM, but I always tried to reveal the truth and question the government. That is apparently not what the MSM wanted, and fate led me to starting this site. Things have a funny way of working out. Thank you for your support.

  26. James M

    There is no work, there is no recovery and this is going to be the new jobless normal for a while I suspect. You can blow confetti out of your ass on TV until the cows come home but it is obviously a sad cruel joke. Nothing has gotten better and everything has gotten worse. What would anyone with half of a frontal lobe expect from a government but lies.

  27. Samantha in Tucson

    Until we get some honest leadership in this country, the government will continue to lie to us. Lying about the true unemployment figures is the only way to keep those who don’t know any better (which is a majority of the American public) in control and feeling “good” about what the elected officials are doing to boost the economy.

    Unless we slap some tariffs on a lot of the cheap imported goods, our economy will continue to deteriorate.

    Has anyone noticed now the “Service Economy” is working these days? Have you had really good service anywhere? I’ve had some pretty bad experiences lately.

    As an aside:

    Ron Paul is ostracized in many ways by his fellow congress-critters because he DOES tell the truth. The Republican party will not give him a chance to run against Obama in 2012 as he is not part of the game-playing machine.

    I’m not saying that Ron Paul is perfect, but he’s the closest thing to an honest politician that I’ve seen in a long time.

    How about this for a ticket: Paul/Perot? The Obama family could start packing their bags today!

    Yes, Rome is burning.

    • Greg

      Thanks for the great quote that I used in this post (9% UE Lie.)

      • Samantha in Tucson

        Thanks, Greg!

  28. Sharonsj

    Things have been going downhill for some time–and we’re still in terrible trouble–but the media seems paid to claim we are in a recovery, jobs are coming back, and there is little inflation.

    However, my heating oil went up 15% in the last three months. That box of stuffing mix I bought at Thanksgiving for $1.25 is now $1.85. Two years ago pet food went up 40% and not a word was said anywhere. Last year the packaging from cereal to candy was cut by 25-33%. Again, not a single word in the media.

    Meanwhile, the government lies about statistics. That started years ago so they wouldn’t have to give Social Security and disability recipients (and federal workers) a proper cost of living raise. Now I’m faced with state budget shortfalls, so all my school and property taxes and fees are going up. I’ve seen plenty of poor and elderly lose their homes over that, and it’s getting worse.

    Unfortunately, people voted in the wrong kind of politicians last election. All the talk about cutting the deficit will not bring us jobs and it’s going to make the situation worse as social programs are cut instead of ending the expensive and unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sorry, Republicans, but your reps aren’t interested in you unless you are rich. (And the Dems aren’t much better….)

    • Greg

      Thank you for some real inflation numbers from real people such as yourself!

  29. BigTom

    Did someone turn the clock back to 1984? Thank god for shadowstats and posts like yours, Greg. The ‘Stupor Bowl’ bread and circus thing? I personally don’t think so. It’s entertaining, and one of the few things on TV that can be watched while not constantly being lied to, and if there is an occasional lie there, who cares? – the real ‘stupor bowl’ is most things on MSM and especially nightly news most people watch. Brains are being scrambled there and unfortunately those people vote! We are being lied to nightly and of course there are consequences to those lies…..

    • Greg

      Big Tom,
      It wasn’t so much the game itself but all the media time and resources it soaked up. We were pounded with non-stop coverage leading up to the “Big Game.” I have to admit, I watched some of it but I really enjoyed the commercials more. Thank you for perspective, your point is valid.

  30. High Iq mba

    The actual unemployment is close to 23% .There are between 30 and 40 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. Real inflation is running at about 9% per anum and rising. In zimbabwe the rate was over 200 million percent. The Usa is not Zimbabwe however we have watched the largest mortgage broker fold and big banks bailed out because their derriatives losses are in the hundred trillions. Since marked to fantasy is the new normal, and laws are passed so these people in collusion can operate with impunity nothing will change. We need to creat jobs and get a sound monetary policy before it all goes over the cliff.

    • Greg

      High IQ MBA,
      Your facts and analysis are sound. Thank you.

  31. John C. Schofield

    It is refreshing to find someone trying to get the truth out. The wealthy are unaffected by the recession/depression and the media is made up of relatively wealthy people. The truth is that what the US is doing is not sustainable and Congress apparently does not get it. The 800 military bases and the entire defense program is its own stimulus program. That is the only logical place to make cuts but then that adds soldiers to the unemployed and hurts Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, ….ad nauseum. They have to raise taxes. They have to audit the Fed. Once they find out what the Fed has been doing it will end it for sure. It has been keeping gold and silver low and propping up the Stock Market and is intertwined with foreign governments and banks.

    • Greg

      Thank you John and Gene.

  32. Gene Bray

    Given the success that Green groups had at suing Federal Regulators over drilling, chemical, and other invironmental issues the past two or three decades. Would it be possible to sue these reporting and overseeing segments of the Government in the same way and get some reform going?

  33. Luke Conrad

    I remember back in undergraduate I spoke out in my economics class about how the unemployment was done when we where learning about how the unempolyment rate was calculated. My professor kept trying to switch the conversation to how it doesn’t matter how the unemployment rate is calculated that we only want to compare it. In other words, the professor was content in his lifestyle and didn’t want to see any sort of uproar or draw attention to the obvious subject.

    I can understand this guy and the people like him though because if you have never been hungry or suffered in life you probably do not want to ever be hungry or suffer in life or even think about it. Why cause panic when there is a massive opening in the side of the Titantic.. the music is still playing and I’m drunk! Seriously, at least the Titantic had life boats with our unstatinable growth where scarcity rewards economic profit I do not think its possible for the U.S. machine to continue on properly without some major change. We borrowed parts from other nations machines that we need to return and our oil to run our machine is depleting at astronomical levels while the supply is asyntotically running out.

    Greg keep up the good work. I like reading this site more then browsing CNN. The only other website that beats yours out is ESPN.

    • Greg

      Thank you for the support man!!!!!!

  34. Mark

    I recently re-read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s amazing how prophetic Orwell was 60 years ago. The BLS purposely skews the jobs numbers to try and make them look better than expected.

    Here’s a relevant example I’ve quoted from the book. Just substitute “creation of jobs” for “output of boots”. Sound familiar?

    “For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at a hundred and forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than a hundred and forty-five millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great and small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain.”

  35. Heather Hadden

    Thanks for the post Greg, the mainstream media are telling us just what we want to hear, so I wondered how should I read those numbers. Keep up the good work. I wonder, does anybody have an unemployment chart for at least 20 years calculated using the original method? Can you even compare this kind of data that the BLS is feeding us with other countries? Europe?

    • Greg

      Thank you Heather.

  36. Charles

    I think we can agree on this logic:
    Since our economy is based on on a fiat currency and that currency is dependent on the confidence of those holding it, then the people running our government are doing everything they can to keep that confidence in place. This includes mis-direction. If you can read the data, then you know unemployment is higher than reported in MSM. Now ask why is MSM under-reporting the real numbers?
    To put this in context:
    A captain at sea has enough life boats to hold half of his passengers. The only way to save that half is to load the life boats quietly and calmly. This is accomplished by telling everyone the ship is not sinking too fast and that if everyone stays calm and waits their turn, they will be saved.

    • Greg

      Good comment!!! Thank you.

  37. C.W.

    Thank you for a very informative and pertinant article. Your explanation of how they fiddled with the statistics to make the job market appear better than it is was very helpful for me. I saw the report on CNN and thought it a ridiculuous claim that a jobs increase of 36,000 would drop the unemployment rate by .4%. To be fair, CNN cautioned that the .4% drop was misleading.

    My only criticism of the article is the last paragraph. My interpretation of it is that you are claiming the government is controlling all aspects of the Superbowl and using it to distract the public from the important issues of the day. That’s patently absurd. Even the most rabid Steeler and Packer fan is perfectly capable of being a productive, informed member of American society. I hope I am misinterpreting your ending statements. It is difficult to comprehend how a person could write such a concise, logical, intelligent article and then end the last few sentences sounding like a nutcase. Apologies if I’ve been offensive. Thanks again for the rest of the article.

    • Greg

      CNN telling you that .4% drop in unemployment was misleading was not the same as going into the numbers and explaining the story correctly. We had an increase in unemployment and what CNN did was mislead the public. .4% is a huge drop and they should have explained it. As far as the Super Bowl, there was so much time devoted to the coverage of this event that many other stories did not get time or resources. I did not claim the government controlled the game. I should have made the point that the coverage was way over the top relative to the enormous perils the country faces and yes you were offensive.

  38. Oldcoot

    Greg, I no longer believe the washington crowd, nor do I give the MSM any more credibility. People have to start using common sense and give up some of their entertainment time in order to research what lies ahead and connect a few dots. A simple thing such as the use of biofuels….how much has the price of corn risen in the last year, and how will it affect the price of food? Corn is the major raw material used to make the alcohol.
    Your site is at the top of my list for my research…please don’t ever shut it down. You are doing this country a great service. B.T.

    • Greg

      Thank you B.T. for the comment and support.

  39. Ian J


    I just finished reading the article in this weeks economist about the unemployment rate. While they talk a lot about the fact that the labor pool is shrinking, and how that skews the numbers (they refer to it as a decline in participation), the newspaper fails to mention that the labor pool is shrinking because people who are discouraged are no longer looking for jobs. The problem with our unemployment rate is that it only tells part of the story. When people quit looking for jobs, unemployment goes down! So when economic times are bad enough to discourage people our of the job market, the unemployment rate does not serve as an accurate signal for what is really happening in the economy.

    I would like to see what kind of relationship participation has with the economic climate: how does a poor economy affect the number of people that are participating in the job market? My guess is that as the economy worsens, more and more people are discouraged out of the job market. Anyone who says that lower unemployment= better economy, or even that lower unemployment= more jobs does not understand the truth.

    If we measured unemployment differently, maybe just as simple as ( population- employed)/population, we would probably get a better understanding of what is going on. The problem with simple measurements is that they dont lend themselves to manipulation, which wouldn’t serve our politicians very well.


    • Greg

      Ian J,
      Good point. I just want to add one thing. After a year the unemployed are simply not counted any longer. This happened under the Clinton administration in 1994. If unemployment was computed the way it was by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) before 1994 the true (under and unemployment) rate would be greater than 22% according to economist John Williams at Shadowstats.com. If we simply used current BLS statistics for the unemployed up to one year (U6), unemployment would be greater than 17%. What the government passes off as unemployment are people looking for work only 6 months (U3.) That’s how the government can say unemployment is at 9%. Government accounting makes most things look better than reality and that is a fact. Thank you for your comment.

  40. Ken

    Yes! I am sick of the lies, we should follow Egypt and get on the streets.Your vote means nothing,we are going to wait too long before something good happens, when are we going to wake up! I am unemployed and I see alot of fat people at the Grocery store with no jobs buying loads of food with WIC credit cards. I also see alot of people hurting all over the place and are just waiting for something to change, but this time it is not changing, it is getting worse. The Republicans say that they don’t want big Goverment but they are taking all of our rights way as fast as they can. There is no way that the unemployment is at 9% and I take offense at it. We are suppose to be out of Iraq now, what happend to that? I saw the super bowl and the game was good and I don’t watch any commericals, period! Ok, I feel better now. God Bless what is left of the USA!

    • Greg

      Hang in ther Ken. Many feel the same as you. Thanks for the comment.

  41. Jeff

    I just noticed that employers are NOT hiring if you are unemployed. WTF? How did this come to be SOP? I for one, am sick of all the nonsense.

    • Greg

      That is a WTF. Sounds stupid and counter productive to me too! Thank you for weighing in.

  42. Hannah

    Everybody I know who wants a job, HAS a job.

    Sometimes you need to be willing to do what you consider beneath you, or start your own business.

    I live in a town where every store along the avenue has a help wanted sign up yet several people I know are holding out waiting for the slacker days to return. Not going to happen.

    I know one woman who works AND collects unemployment-which I find infuriating. people who need that money could be using it.

  43. Robert Sweetmann

    I along with my Father who new a lot about Capitalism and lived through the Depression knew that you cannot have a globalized world of consumerism based on a populations ability to have disposable dollars available when their is a parallel system in place that is rapidly accumulating wealth that comes directly from already scarce competitive dollars in circulation, that must come directly from surplus labor dollars that must come from the largest of populations, your consumer working class middle-income earners.

    When the middle income Americans finally exhaust their disposable dollars in an effort to maintain a typical suburban lifestyle running up against the inevitable wall of credit to debt wage stagnation it’s only a matter of time before it implodes on itself.

    That’s what happens when you light a candle at both ends or rather you cut-off your nose to spite your face.

    They blindly and greedily took from the middle class to accumulate obscene wealth which in the end will leave the largest group of consumers to keep a national economy afloat no longer with the amount of assets to keep it afloat. And when the Dollar is removed as the worlds Reserve currency, imagine what that will do to disposable dollars then and the ensuing inflation. You ain’t seen nothing yet brother, and this was all predictable when credit cards came out in 1978 and the average middle-class working family was required for Mom to work and Pop to start a second job. I know, it happened to me and you could see it all coming.

    Its game over!!!!!!!!!

  44. Robert Sweetmann

    My final 2 cents on it all.

    From the top I subscribe to no political party platform because both parties play to the same Pied-Piper. Since both Party candidates require vast sums of money to run for office in today’s mass-social media driven market, it matters little weather your a Republican or Democrat, they both embrace those who write them the big checks for endorsement which upon their victory on election day comes the itinerant,” quid pro quo ‘ thereafter beholden to the Capitalist Class, with few exceptions, most notably the U.S. Senator from Maine, the “Independent“ Barney Sanders, a long-standing champion, fighting for the vast multitude of American working class families to bring back some semblance of common decency, pride, honor, equality and thus bringing human dignity back into their lives, along with Sanders fight for what’s right to bring about our need for social & environmental justice on behalf of those who honor, human dignity and equality, on behalf of all humanity.
    The political-economy represented by the collective 535 members of Congress have thus been purchased by the ruling class oligarchy whose membership hierarchy is found in the off-shore private international banking cartels (Federal Reserve-IMF-World Bank-WTO) and the predatory Merchant Class Captains of Corporate Neo-liberal Capitalism which facilitates the rampant conduit of wealth accumulation to the tune of 65% of the nations GDP for only 1% of America’s income earning population, while the remaining 99% of America’s workforce must struggle to survive with the remaining 35% of our Nation’s GDP under run-away, and what is rightfully coined, “Criminal Income Distribution Inequality,(CIDI) under income stagnation and inflationary Dollars over the last 50 years, coupled with the massive private sales of Trillions of Federal Reserve notes the Fed, under license as the Bank of Issue simply creates out of thin air, then sells to the U.S. Treasury-the American people.
    Given the working-class middle income strata of America, now up against a debt-credit-to asset equity wall, in still trying to keep the traditional middle class lifestyle afloat under a Money System by default keeps money scarce under fierce competition will only serve to fuel already greater fear, stress and anxiety, but will prevent any real economic growth unless a massive infusion of work dollar programs are invested in job programs as FDR did with WPA and Nixon did under the PEP & CETA programs I got a job in 1973.
    Or a Central Bank Debt forgiveness program, otherwise it will take roughly the entire “next generation’ of the American Workforce representing essentially a new slate bank ledger for a lifetime of slave-wage to debt, Hamster Wheel entrapment of credit for compulsive-obsessive American lifestyle materialism hell-bent on betting which end of the candle will burn off the quickest in an effort to maintain a visual symbol, itself the underlying crystallization which brings about it’s own destruction and that of it’s own terra firma.
    Unless of course the numbers don’t lie as only 51 of 100 seniors in High School are graduating with their diploma.

    That’s not good news for an American Workforce competing in a globalized economy whose world currency reserve is based on the American Dollar; coupled with fierce competition over market share of scarce US Dollars, and where consumer products and services are being ever-more driven by science & technology innovations; and yet faced with that reality, the largest percent of your indigenous workforce is increasingly without the knowledge and skill-sets for even entry-level employment.

    That this is happening at a time when your workforce is needing to be ever more technologically and scientifically inclined, gives new meaning to President Reagan’s 1982 commission report a “Nation at Risk”, that identified similar if not alarmingly deficiencies for our nation’s educational systems to meet the needs of our American workforce.

    For Baby-boomers still in the upper middle and middle income ranges advancing into retirement years living on less income, and with a rising trend of more middleclass families falling into poverty, and now add to that the next generation American Workforce with only 51 of 100 seniors in High School graduating with their diplomas, the likelihood of America being able to maintain a relative healthy parity of middle-income families to their former parents and grandparents generations is dubious at best.

    It will also mark for the first time in American history that a former generation of American families have left for their Children not only a future of far less economic opportunity and uncertainty than what their forbearers left them, but with a National Debt that mortgaged their future in order to subsidize the rampant inequality that 1% of American income earners enjoy, equal to 65% of our nations GDP.

    They also left them with over 1.5 trillion Dollars in an unlawful war of aggression debt; allowed the extortion of at least a trillion dollars to subsidize the greatest criminal banking enterprise in human history, and left them in a country where for over 225 years human rights were held with the highest honor, where they no longer have their Bill of Rights guaranteed as written in their U.S. Constitution.

    However, with the current brand of Republicanism Obstruction fueled by Senator Mitch Mc Connell and Teaparty provocateurs, the massive job program spending that is required putting millions to work and thus circulating more money into local and thus our national economy is dubious, like Republican President Herbert Hoover in 1930 refusing to allow Federal intervention into helping fix an economy.

    It gave rise to a massive denouncement of Capitalism, and given the recent Bolshevik Russian Revolution and populist uprisings in Germany and Europe, themselves suffering mass job loss, America was not that far removed from calling for a change towards nationalizing the economies in the interests of the People, and taking the Peoples money and monetary policy out of the hands of private off-shore international banking cartels, and nationalize our bank.
    FDR was well aware of the pulse of the nation towards change, thus a massive spending and public works programs was implemented taking change off the tip of their tongue by putting them to work and coupled with sending millions off to fight and support a war effort, including all of the major arms production industries eventually brought working-class American families out of poverty.

    After WWII America was the only modern industrial nation whose vast mfg. base, now the world’s most advanced was untouched, And with millions of Vets now coming home. had both relieved the women in our factories, but had the GI Bill allowing them to become the engineers, leaders and professionals necessary to lead the world in science, technology and Democracy, but enjoyed the most productive and skilled workforce in the world to achieve dominance that built the most modern Nation in the world you see aging today.

    However it was not built without their legacy of class struggle and the advances towards greater social justice and human rights, all of which built the strong middle-class working family we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing during most of the 20th century, capable of building the Great Society we became that allowed so many millions of Baby-Boomers to enjoy a modern lifestyle of fulfillment, and not one of poverty, that has befallen so many families of late, not seen in modern memory, as 49 of every 100 American Families who now live in.

    Thus our elected representatives in WA DC have failed in honoring their Oath of office, and have not worked for what is in the best interests of the American people for several decades now, ever since the advent of TV when the day of whistle stops & bus tours were replaced by the global domain of digital media communications.

    Most anyone who has the slightest ability to engage in critical thinking knows full well that what is known as mainstream media, going back some 40+ years now report on very little news worthy events that have any real importance to your life and instead engage in political dogma.

    They all do it & why decades ago I if I wanted to ever expect to know the truth I needed to look elsewhere for credible news information. Besides political pundits on TV have no more authority & horsepower than I do, and furthermore I refuse to engage in a philosophy that says I know better than you how you ought to live your life & what values & belies systems you must be beholden to in order to have credibility.
    The 1st Amendment put that notion to rest over 250 years ago by our Founders.
    A philosophy about inalienable rights rooted in human nature itself.
    Thus I refuse to start practicing in ethnocentric behavior or what is essentially a “God Complex”.
    When I was 16 back in the mid 1960’s it became apparent that propaganda was running a muck & those corporate giants who gained control of major news outlets would use them for advancing their own brand of political causes known as “Yellow Journalism”.

    It was at that point I shut the boob toob off for getting news and began utilizing my local university library by examining a treasure trove of scholarly journals & world news papers, and even then have learned to take the world with a large grain of salt.
    Today most all MSM news networks use their air waves as political battle grounds based on personal political ideologies.

    What I would be more interested in is the demographics that represent the vast array of viewers who watch the big 4 major news networks.

  45. Marla

    Funny. When unemployment was higher at 9.8% the BLS data was totally correct. Right conservatives?

    • Greg

      The true number of unemployed and underemployed is more than 22% if it was computed the way BLS did it in 1994 or earlier. Both parties lie about the numbers.

  46. calinson

    Wow. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Why do you think the unemployed will fall out of the unemployment rate after one year? You clearly have no idea how the unemployment rate is calculated. I am embarrassed for you but really irritated that you would go around espousing something as fact when you clearly don’t even have rudimentary knowledge of the subject. I recommend that you visit the BLS website and learn about how the employment rate is calculated. Why don’t you study it and tell us where it says that you do not count after one year of unemployment. PS – changes to the monthly CPS that occurred in 1994 were done based on research requested by Reagan and all reputable statisticians say the changes had a nominal impact on the rate. Those changes were not what you represent here.


    • Greg

      Wow, I guess you have absolutely no idea the government stats are flawed? I hope you are not investing money and using only government statistics. I guess you are talking about one line in my post that said, “While we are on the subject of reality, after one year, the unemployed are no longer counted in government statistics.” It should have included these four words “of not looking for work.” So it should have read,”While we are on the subject of reality, after one year of not looking for work, the unemployed are no longer counted in government statistics.” It really irritated me you would trash me and try to embarrass me for a simple oversight. I guess you don’t know anything about “structural unemployment”? That’s when jobs disappear forever. Several million people are now no longer counted in the work force and prior to 1994 people who did not look for work in the last year were still counted. Oh by the way you said, “changes to the monthly CPS that occurred in 1994 were done based on research requested by Reagan. . .” “Reagan”– really? in 1994? “Wow. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.”

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