Posted by: Ann Corcoran | February 21, 2012

The real unemployment rate is 36.3%

Update:  The Administration had been touting an 8.3% unemployment rate recently but Gallup is now reporting it is likely to rise to 9% when new figures come out in early March, here.

Note:  I prematurely posted this with an incorrect name of the author.  It is correct now:  John Hayward!

That is what John Hayward says writing at Human Events yesterday.

Hayward explains that what is happening is that the workforce is shrinking—people are giving up looking for work and are being propped up by the extension of unemployment benefits and other government social “safety net” programs such as food stamps and thus the Obama Labor Department is able to make it appear that the unemployment rate is falling.

We’ve heard this before, and we know it, but this is a concise explanation of what is happening.

Here is one little excerpt from Hayward’s piece:

Since the concept of people who aren’t looking for work is so fluid, and some of those people have clearly been persuaded not to look for work because of job-destroying government policies, it might be more logical to measure unemployment using the standard incorrectly offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U-3 rate: “total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force.”  That’s what the U-3 rate claims to measure, but it doesn’t, not by a long shot.

What is the current percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but not currently working?  Answer: 36.3 percent.

That’s the worst labor participation rate in three decades, and it’s part of the worst employment picture we’ve seen since the Great Depression.

Read it all, here.



  1. Even worse — I heard on Fox News this morning that many people are going on Social Security Disability when their unemployment runs out. They get on it for “mental health” reasons, mental illness now being stretched to include just about everybody. I think I remember right: Social Security Disability costs us $200 billion a year. These people make up part of the true unemployment figure, and they will be on disability for the rest of their lives.

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