The Newest Lies About Jobs

Posted by freedomforall 3 weeks, 5 days ago to Government
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is fast becoming a running joke among economists in the know. Following their press releases and debunking the headline claims is sport. Indeed, the very abbreviation BLS has become a punchline, similar to CDC and mRNA.

That's because the mainstream media repeats every ridiculous fib, thus allowing the bureaucrats to control the news cycle. It takes competent observers at least until the afternoon to ferret out the truth. By then, the bad news gets buried and the Biden administration survives another day.

The latest release from last week is another case in point, following many months of wildly distorted data releases. Each one trumpets the fake good news and buries the ugly realities. As the economic times get harder by the month, there is more to bury and more fibs that are required to cover it all up.

The lead summary from the BLS reads as follows:

“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 150,000 in October, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, government, and social assistance. Employment declined in manufacturing due to strike activity.”
The news is pretty good, right? Maybe, but then you get a look at the details. You need only to head over to table A for a grim surprise. It turns out that the U.S. economy just axed 384,000 jobs in one month. That’s the biggest one-month loss since the lockdowns of March 2020. How odd that this didn’t make it into the release!
It adds further evidence of the proposition I’ve been making in these pages for months: we are not only already in recession but we probably never truly recovered from the March 2020 recession. The trendline isn't improving but getting relentlessly worse.

The losses were everywhere but the gains were mostly restricted to government and medical industries. We are even seeing areas where there have been labor shortages, such as hospitality, starting to shed jobs. That’s right, even bartenders and servers are losing out; that’s because the customers are starting to dry up due to high prices, growing household debt, and a general financial squeeze that's hitting the average person’s bank account. Overall, in October, 7.5K waiters and bartenders lost their jobs.

In other words, this month’s report was truly terrible. It also points to much more terrible news in the coming months.

Notice the huge divergence between the establishment and household survey. That's how they are hiding the data. They like to report the establishment survey but then bury the much more accurate household survey.

We have never seen such a difference between the two. It’s evidence that the Biden administration is twisting arms at the statistical agency to make sure they make the news as good as possible, just like in China or the old Soviet Union. If there's a piece of data subject to manipulation, you can bet they will manipulate it.

Not only that, but also we’ve got yet another round of downward revisions in past data releases. ZeroHedge comments:
“As usual, historical data was revised massively lower, with the jobs change for August revised down by 62,000, from +227,000 to +165,000, and the change for September was revised down by 39,000, from +336,000 to +297,000. With these revisions, employment in August and September combined is 101,000 lower than previously reported. In total, 8 of the past 8 months have been revised sharply lower in what only idiots can not see is clearly mandated political propaganda designed to make the economy look stronger at first glance then quietly revise the growth away.”

It gets worse actually. I’m now typing from the back seat of an Uber driven by a guy who has a full-time job as a trained medical professional. But to service his loans and pay for his kids in college to have some means of traveling home for holidays, he spends his weekends driving for Uber. Which is to say that he's never home to enjoy the house for which he is paying or spending time with the family he is tasked with supporting.

This isn't at all unusual in the U.S. now, as millions of people with full-time jobs are picking up part-time jobs on nights and weekends. Multiple job holders just hit an all-time high. And that provides further opportunities for the disreputable BLS to engage in double-counting. This is what they call job creation.
(See attached graphic multiple-jobholders-chart1)
Even with all of this, we are seeing the labor participation rate fall rather than rise. It's still nowhere close to having recovered from the pre-lockdown highs, further adding to evidence that we are in a plain-old inflationary recession now. Yes, of course, the unemployment rate remains low because it only measures those in the workforce looking for a job, and takes no account of dropouts.
(See attached graphic labor-force-participation-chart2)
However, we gain greater clarity by looking at the underemployment rate. It climbed to 7.2 percent, the highest since February 2022.

Thus far in this cycle, the labor markets as traditionally measured haven't responded as we might expect in a downturn. Indeed, the recession would have already been declared at least a year ago but for the labor markets, which has been the only bragging right that the Biden administration has had. But the more we look at it, the more it looks like a traditional case of lying with statistics.

In the past four years, we’ve all learned a thing or two about how government likes to deploy fancy data to manipulate the public mind. For the most part, the economic reporting agencies have been spared the loss of trust, but that's only because they receive less attention than the nonsense about, for example, COVID and the death rate.

That's starting to change. The average American knows for sure that today we are in a grim situation with falling opportunities, rising debt, declining real income, unending inflation, and a financial squeeze that is causing anxiety among vast numbers and sheer panic among many. The more that Biden agencies and their media mouthpieces claim that this is what economic health looks like, the more they are discredited.

Even if the recession is never announced, it's no less real for average Americans.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute.

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  • Posted by $ BobCat 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    When I read your commentary quoting the BLS lead summary, I thought for a brief second that I was reading in NewsSpeak from '1984'.

    Is anyone fooled by the BS from the BLS? I don't see how, unless the don't pay taxes,, don't go to the grocery store or any store for that matter, or don't buy their own gas, or don't pay their own utilities and insursnce, etc. The 'believers' must be either basement dwellers, welfare recipients, or just not breathing.
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