Gov’t Admits Millions of Unemployed People Were Not Counted in Latest Job Stats

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When the June jobs report came out, President Joe Biden crowed that it was “Bidenomics in action.”

But behind the happy talk of the White House statement, buried in the depths of a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the revelation that more than five million Americans who are not working were not counted in the unemployment rate, which stands at 3.6 percent.

“The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.4 million in June, little changed from the prior month,” the report said.

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“These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.”

Unemployment for purposes of the unemployment rate requires an individual to have made “specific active efforts to find employment.” The means, for example, being involved in some government-linked activity to find work.

The report noted that 1.1 million people are counted as long-term unemployed, meaning that have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. The long-term unemployed amount to 18.5 percent of the overall population of unemployed people.

The report noted that many Americans are stuck in part-time jobs.

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“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons increased by 452,000 to 4.2 million in June, partially reflecting an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are individuals who would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs,” the report said.

The report noted that the labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent. As documented by the Federal Reserve, that remains shy of Trump-era levels before the pandemic.

The report noted that while some Americans struggle, the government sector grows.

Government jobs rose by 60,000 in June, having added an average of 63,000 jobs per month this year, after adding 23,000 jobs a month in 2022.

The Congressional Budget Office is not predicting much better ties down the road.

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“The growth of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) slows to a 0.4 percent annual rate during the second half of 2023,” the CBO wrote, adding that “[t]hat initial slowdown in economic growth drives up unemployment. The unemployment rate reaches 4.1 percent by the end of 2023 and 4.7 percent by the end of 2024 before falling slightly to 4.5 percent in 2025.”

“The number of added jobs in the economy is projected to fall from an average of 298,000 per month in the first half of 2023 to an average of 111,000 per month in the second half,” the CBO’s most recent report projected.

The report said unemployment will rise to just “4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2024. Over the same period, the number of unemployed people rises from 5.9 million to 7.8 million. In early 2025, the unemployment rate begins a gradual decline, reaching 4.5 percent by the end of the year.”

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