The Chairman and CEO of the Gallup organization has said out loud what many pundits have been saying but the major media don’t report: The unemployment numbers are a ‘Big Lie’.
In an opinion piece on the Gallup website, Jim Clifton says the hype from the media, White House and Wall Street about the unemployment rate falling to 5.6% is just that — hype:
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.
Clifton says the numbers are a lie because they don’t count a shocking number of long term unemployed or underemployed people:
If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
He says that hardly qualifies as a full time job — which is what Americans believe are created when the monthly jobs totals come out:
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 warns there are real-world consequences to the shady calculus:
When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
While he says ‘Few Americans know’ about the back story on the numbers, most Americans know and can relate to the loss of the American dream.