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A Very Weak U.S. Economic Recovery

Economics / US Economy Mar 25, 2015 - 10:33 AM GMT

By: EWI

Economics

For years, the government has been manipulating its unemployment statistics to line up with its claim that the economy has recovered strongly.

Jim Clifton of Gallup finally couldn't stand it anymore and wrote a terrific op-ed on the subject. Here is the meat of it:


If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job--if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks--the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news--currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.

There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: 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.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find--in other words, you are severely underemployed--the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

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.

--Jim Clifton, Gallup.com

The following chart depicts the substantial decline in employment since 2000.

Notice that the recovery in jobs during the stock market rally of 2003-2007 was only about 1/3 of the decline from 2000-2003. The recovery during the even longer and bigger rally of 2009-2014 has been about 40% of its preceding decline. In both cases, the recoveries have been weaker than the declines, despite new highs in the major stock averages both times.

Editor's note: This article is excerpted from Elliott Wave International's new free report, "U.S. Economy Still on Life Support." For years, the government has manipulated its unemployment statistics to line up with its claim that the economy has recovered strongly. But that's not ALL the government is hiding from you. From foodstuffs, to crude oil prices, to GDP, the numbers and analysis reported by the government and mainstream financial press are misleading at best, downright falsehoods at worst. Get the hidden truth -- click here to read the full two-part report now >>


About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.


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