What CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton revealed in his blog Tuesday about how the Labor Department arrives at the monthly unemployment rate is no secret -- including that Americans who have quit looking for work after four weeks are not included in the survey.
Clifton says the “cheerleading” for the 5.6 number is “deafening.”
Clifton says 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.
He points out that an out-of-work engineer, for example, performing a minimum of one hour of work a week, even mowing a lawn for $20, also is not officially counted as unemployed.
In addition, those working part time but wanting full-time work -- the so-called “severely underemployed” -- also are not counted.
“There's no other way to say this,” Clifton says. “The official unemployment rate … amounts to a big lie.”
Clifton suggests the biggest misconception about the official rate is that it doesn’t denote “good” full-time jobs.
“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."