The head of the Gallup polling firm recently backpedaled on his claim that the official unemployment rate being trumpeted by the White House, Wall Street and the media is a “big lie.”
Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, recently told CNBC that he was worried he might “suddenly disappear” if he disputed the accuracy of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed Americans, Wall Street on Parade reported.
“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.”
But he contended 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.”
His appearance on CNBC came days after he claimed the official unemployment rate being trumpeted by the White House, Wall Street and the media is a “big lie.”
“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 – 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,” the venerable firm’s chief executive officer and chairman last week wrote in his blog.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said on Friday said nonfarm payrolls increased 257,000 last month, Reuters reported. Data for November and December were revised to show a whopping 147,000 more jobs created than previously reported, bolstering views consumers will have enough muscle to carry the economy through rough seas.
At 423,000, the government said November’s payroll gains were the largest since May 2010, when employment was boosted by government hiring for the population count.
While the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, that was because the labor force increased, a sign of confidence in the jobs market.
January marked the 11th straight month of job gains above 200,000, the longest streak since 1994, the government said.
Obama has embraced and applauded the recent unemployment data.
“Our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999,” Obama said in his State of the Union address Jan. 20. “Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.”
But Clifton writes Americans out of work for at least four weeks are “as unemployed as one can possibly be” and argues that as many as 30 million of them are now either out of work or severely underemployed.
In addition, those working part time but wanting full-time work – the so-called “severely underemployed” – also aren’t counted in the latest low number.
“There’s no other way to say this,” he writes.
“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 argues the United States “is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44 percent, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older.”
That number needs to “50 percent and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class,” he writes.
“When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth – the percent of Americans in good jobs, jobs that are full time and real – then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t ‘feeling’ something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives,” Clifton writes.
“And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.”
Read more at NEWSMAX.