Jim Clifton is the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, Inc. Yes, that Gallup as in the Gallup Poll — the U.S. consulting company famous for its public opinion polls, founded by George Gallup in 1935.
On Feb. 3, 2015, Clifton did something quite remarkable: He wrote an op/ed in which he called the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) official unemployment rate of 5.6% “the big lie.” (See my post “Gallup CEO: 5.6% unemployment is a Big Lie“)
Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening….
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed….
There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading…. 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…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…amounts to a Big Lie.
At the time when I posted Clifton’s op/ed, FOTM writer Trail Dust and I exchanged comments marveling at Clifton’s truth-telling. TD wrote: “I wonder what triggered him to dare such a dangerous enemy out in the open like that.”
Well, that thought had occurred to Clifton as well.
The day after his op/ed was published, on Feb. 4, 2015, Clifton told CNBC that he was worried he might “suddenly disappear” and not make it home that evening if he disputed the accuracy of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed Americans.
Pam and Russ Martens report for Wall Street Parade:
The CNBC interview came one day after Clifton had penned a gutsy opinion piece on Gallup’s web site, defiantly calling the government’s 5.6 percent unemployment figure “The Big Lie” in the article’s headline. His appearance on CNBC was apparently to walk back the “lie” part of the title and reframe the jobs data as just hopelessly deceptive.
Clifton stated the following on CNBC:
“I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.”
Clifton then went on to eviscerate the legitimacy of the cheerful spin given to the unemployment data, telling CNBC viewers that the percent of full time jobs in this country as a percent of the adult population “is the worst it’s been in 30 years.”
Jim Clifton is not the first to raise questions about the Department of Labor’s unemployment numbers. For years, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, has written about the lack of attention to the measurement known as U6 – which covers the unemployed, underemployed and those who are not looking but want a job. In contrast to the government’s official 5.6% unemployment figure, U6 was an alarming 11.2% in December 2014 — exactly double the official unemployment rate known at U3.
The fact that hourly earnings are not improving with the improvement in the official unemployment rate and that the labor force participation rate of working age men (ages 25 to 54) now stands at the lowest level since the BLS started keeping records more than 60 years ago adds further fodder to “The Big Lie” theory.
H/t Gateway Pundit and FOTM reader “Barry Soetoro, Esq.”
Good grief. What has become of America?
If I had told you in 2008 that the day will soon come when the CEO of Gallup says he may be “disappeared” for speaking the truth about the government, would you have believed me?
Good grief. What has become of America?