"The civilian labor force participation rate
declined in April to 63.6 pct..."
Of that diminished civilian labor force, 8.1 percent are unemployed.
Do you get it? As participation in the labor force declines, so does the ostensible proportion of unemployed.
When Obama took office in Jan. 2009, 65.7% of civilians were participating in the labor force; that is, they were on the payrolls reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Now only 63.6% of civilians make up the entirety of the labor force, as so many have doubtlessly used up their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Those folks, if they don't get on a payroll somewhere, fall into the non-category of The Uncounted, those who receive neither a paycheck nor an unemployment check. It is as if they don't exist.
So while it looks as if the unemployment situation is improving (by a tenth of one percent) - and the Obama machine will most certainly take a victory lap, promoting the vague notion that "things are getting better" - it's really not so simple.
The government's ploy is similar to these, which may be more familiar:
Size Reduction: 11%, or 0.41 ounces
Supposedly in response to pleas from obesity activists, the Mars Company split their "King Size" Snickers bar in half so that it could be more easily shared between two people. What calls the nobility of the company's intentions into question is that, in addition to making the cut, Mars also reduced the total amount of candy in each package from 3.7ounces to 3.29 ounces -- an 11% decrease -- while keeping the price the same.
Company: PepsiCo (PEP)
Size Reduction: 12.5% - 20%
With all the air included in chips packaging, it is easy for manufacturers to reduce the amount of chips in the bags without drawing attention. PepsiCo reduced the Lay's "Family Size" potato-chip bag from 16 ounces to 14 ounces in 2009. Bags of Doritos, Tostitos, and Fritos now contain 20% fewer chips than they did in 2009, according to The New York Times. Even smaller bags have been reduced by a quarter of an ounce.
Company: Procter & Gamble (PG)
Size Reduction: 7.2%, or 10 sheets
Since June 2010, lumber futures have increased more than 80%. The cost of manufacturing paper products has gone up as well, and companies are reducing the size of paper-based products -- like toilet paper, moist towelettes and paper towels -- as a result. Proctor & Gamble recently cut the size of its Bounty 2-ply paper towel rolls from 138 sheets to 128 sheets. The company attempted to mask this change by advertising the roll as "25% thicker." Despite the increased thickness, the package reportedly weighs less.
Americans are optimists, we WANT to believe that things are getting better. And most people - if they hear anything at all - will hear only that "unemployment is down." period. (The new snickers bar is more easily shared, the new paper towel is thicker.)
The bunch o' shysters we have in government are making sure that the stats show what the administration wants them to show. And the "eunuchs of the palace media" will be more than happy to spin any manipulation that benefits His Presidency.
Don't get me wrong. If things were really getting better, if less people were unemployed this month than last, I would be the first to celebrate. I certainly don't want us to go off the cliff just for political advantage.
But I do hate being lied to.
See my hero Tyler Durden for more:
it is just getting sad now. In April the number of [cheerios not in the box] people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. This is the highest on record....
... the real number of unemployed is not 12.5 million but 17.9 million, which in turn implies a 11.6% unemployment rate in the US.
This also means that the spread between the propaganda, and the real number is now 3.5%: the most it has been since the early 1980s.