First, before I explain with facts to reinforce my case about how your government is outright lying to their people, I apologize for being so neglectful of this blog. I literally just returned from Washington D.C. moments ago from my last business trip of the year and I am pleased that my neglect was caused by how busy I have been in the second half of this year. Given the horrifying state of the economy I cannot help but be thankful that gainful employment was the culprit for my absence rather than any other reason. In my defense, I did put out a decent newsletter last month (or at least I thought it was decent) and I’ve been fairly active on Twitter should you follow me there. I also have already begun composing my year-end 2009 newsletter and I’d love to think I would have it sending by next week.
But the situation that has set me off began last week when the government announced that employment fell by only 11,000 jobs and the unemployment rate had fallen to 10% from 10.2% the month before. I posted several Tweet voicing my skepticism about those numbers and alluded that perhaps we shouldn’t be trusting the numbers the government gives us anymore. Since last Friday I have been getting a massive amount of emails and phone calls asking me to explain myself further and lay out my case for why I harbor such distrust. Although my background for the past 30 years is economics and finance, I hope that literally anyone from any background that considers the facts I will share next will concur with me that there is just something rotten in Denmark. So here goes….
The simple facts reported by the government last week was that the economy became 11,000 jobs smaller and that unemployment had actually DROPPED by .2% from October to November. If you are unaware of the method by which these figures are calculated you might already be smelling a rat. After all, it doesn’t seem to make sense that the number of jobs DECLINES and somehow the unemployment rate improves. If the net figure for any month shows that we lost jobs, it seems obvious that the unemployment rate must rise as a result. I won’t cover this explanation again in the blog since I dedicated a large portion of a newsletter earlier this year to the subject (http://www.afs-seminars.com/newsletter_Aug_2009.html), but I will quickly explain the Department of Labor Statistics method here. What people don’t realize is that when unemployment is calculated, the only people that count toward the results are adults who are either currently employed OR actively looking for work. Once people stop even trying to find a job, they are no longer counted and are considered “discouraged”. So while I cannot use this part of the date release as evidence of the government lying, it is sobering news to consider that while the economy MAY have only lost 11,000 jobs, in order to cause unemployment to drop as it did, there was several hundred thousand Americans who gave up looking for work last month. Yet more wonderful news about our robust recovery.
The true basis for my accusation of lying stems from these statistics, which you can feel free to verify for yourselves at this release from the United States Department of Labor on December 3rd:
I’ll quickly total a few numbers for you and I will be using the NSA statistics (Non-seasonally Adjusted) since I prefer my data pure and not adulterated by any random humans. These are the weekly NEW claims for unemployment for November:
Initial Claims (NSA)
November 28 – 460,989
November 21 – 539,252
November 14 – 475,700
November 7 – 531,743
These numbers show that a total of 2,007,684 Americans filed NEW claims for unemployment last month. While it is extremely difficult to retrieve hard statistics on the numbers we all know that plenty of Americans lose their jobs weekly and either don’t, or are ineligible to file for unemployment. According to this article in today’s Wall Street Journal the combined job losses in November (those who filed for benefits and those who didn’t) was 2.12 million people:
The above article also reports that the number of job openings remains weak and that the pace of hiring is dismal and will likely remain that way for an extended period.
So please do the simple math yourself and tell me what you think. If employers did indeed lay off or fire 2.12 million individuals (the Department of Labor itself confirms 2,007,684 or 95% of that number) then for there to be ONLY 11,000 fewer jobs by the end of November, U.S. employers would have had to HIRE 2,109,000 people into jobs. At this point I will defy you to bring a statistic to me from ANY source that suggests that level of hiring last month and I will publish an amazingly contrite retraction and apology to anyone in the government whom I offend.
But you can’t. Because there wasn’t that many jobs filled last month. Period. Paragraph.
So while Americans sit at the edge of their seats wondering how many more Tiger Woods girlfriends are going to pop up and the news media gladly cover it, the government is purposefully lying to the general population hoping that a public relations campaign will lead us into recovery since the trillions of dollars they’re spending isn’t doing it. And the mainstream news media who seem collectively as dumb as a bunch of bricks allows the charade to continue. It didn’t take me particularly long to articulate the facts to you here, nor was it all too difficult to do the math and establish the fraud here. Why doesn’t Brian Williams, Katie Couric or Charles Gibson mention such things to their viewers? Better still, why doesn’t the supposed “financial press” at CNBC, Bloomberg or my friends at the Wall Street Journal connect these dots and tell this story? Don’t worry, I have no idea either.
At the end of the day I am no Woodward or Bernstein, but simply a corporate trainer/consultant and somehow it all appeared obvious to me within 5 minutes of the governments release I gave you above.
Do your friends a favor and forward this post to them (or better still a reporter or one of your elected officials) and perhaps someone with a larger megaphone than myself will pick up this mantle and run with it. My ego is secure and I don’t need any credit for figuring this out. What I would like is for someone to make our government accountable.