# The Truth Is Often Simple; Lies Are Complex

The guys at Zero Hedge are doing Yeoman’s work debunking the fake job numbers that the government continues to thrust upon us now that we’re firmly in an election year. From Tyler Durden, his second great post of the day on this subject:

Sick of the BLS propaganda? Then do the following calculation with us: using BLS data, the US civilian non-institutional population was 242,269 in January, an increase of 1.7 million month over month: apply the long-term average labor force participation rate of 65.8% to this number (because as chart 2 below shows, people are not retiring as the popular propaganda goes: in fact labor participation in those aged 55 and over has been soaring as more and more old people have to work overtime, forget retiring), and you get 159.4 million: that is what the real labor force should be. The BLS reported one? 154.4 million: a tiny 5 million difference. Then add these people who the BLS is purposefully ignoring yet who most certainly are in dire need of labor and/or a job to the 12.758 million reported unemployed by the BLS and you get 17.776 million in real unemployed workers. What does this mean? That using just the BLS denominator in calculating the unemployed rate of 154.4 million, the real unemployment rate actually rose in January to 11.5%. Compare that with the BLS reported decline from 8.5% to 8.3%. It also means that the spread between the reported and implied unemployment rate just soared to a fresh 30 year high of 3.2%. And that is how with a calculator and just one minute of math, one strips away countless hours of BLS propaganda.

Unfortunately we still have plenty of saps with no intellectual honesty who will buy what the government is selling, list it on eBay, sell it at an extreme markup and tell you you got a great deal because they didn’t charge you shipping.

H/T to commenter alien-IQ at Zero Hedge for this posts title.

• GarandFan

With the help of the BLS, Barry will have “unemployment” under 8% come election day.  And you can count on the MSM reporting it as “fact”.

And don’t be looking at, or counting all those folks who “have ceased to look for work”.  They don’t count.

It’s pretty much accepted that the nation needs to ‘create’ about 150,000 jobs each month, just to take care of normal population growth with people entering the work force for the first time.  In Barry’s first 36 months in office, that would mean “creating” 5,400,000 jobs JUST TO STAY EVEN.  Yet Barry claims his programs have ‘created’  2-3 million jobs (the number depends on the time of day, week and audience).  That wouldn’t even put a dent in the number of jobs required to stay even, much less get all those unemployed back to work.

• Justrand
• ackwired

I have heard that this is what is going on, and it seems to
fit the data.  Three years ago things
started getting really tight and companies knew they needed to cut back.  A lot of older people (more expensive
employees) were terminated without cause.
A deal was cut whereby the employee agreed not to sue and the company
agreed not to challenge the unemployment.
They collected the unemployment for the three year period, and then the
retirement kicks in.  I understand that
there will be millions of these people reaching retirement age this year,
making the unemployment numbers look better, and helping Obama retain the White
House.

Anybody seen any evidence either way on this?

• herddog505

ackwiredThree years ago things started getting really tight and companies knew they needed to cut back.  A lot of older people (more expensive employees) were terminated without cause.  A deal was cut whereby the employee agreed not to sue and the company agreed not to challenge the unemployment.  They collected the unemployment for the three year period, and then the retirement kicks in.  I understand that there will be millions of these people reaching retirement age this year, making the unemployment numbers look better, and helping Obama retain the White House.

It does not appear so.  Based on the data presented by Durden (link in the original post by TWB), the labor participation rate for Americans aged fifty-five and greater is and has been increasing even while the rate for younger Americans has been dropping pretty quickly.  The two rates crossed in 2004.  It seems to me that the implication is that employers are hiring / retaining older (read: experienced) workers, not shedding them through early retirement, layoffs, or other forms of attrition.

This makes sense to me.  Why hire / keep some kid when there are plenty of older, experienced, stable workers looking for a job and willing to take them for cut-rate pay?  I’ve seen this myself: chemists with years of experience and possibly even graduate degrees willing to take near-entry level jobs simply to have work.

• ackwired

•  I see evidence you cut and pasted your comment.  There is an “Edit” function; you might at least have cleaned up the breaks a bit.  But we see how much thought you put into the question.

Putting similar effort into the reply, may I suggest you go perform anatomically impossible feats.

• ackwired

This website sometimes does not allow me to directly enter a reply.  It sometimes freezes and eats whatever I have entered.  So I wrote it in Word and pasted it.  If you think that is somehow sinister, I think that says more about your mental health than it does my integrity.

• cylde

How many of the “quit looking for a job ‘ group are young people that have left school and in quit looking in a few months because they have no work history and are competing with many with more education and experience. Older workers are more likely to search anywhere within commuting distance or relocate to a state like N. Dak while many ex students just move back in with their parents and it is hard to fault them for that with the mess that obama has made. Many of them voted for the fool.

• Massaging the numbers won’t work – people don’t pay nearly as much attention to the network news as they used to, the raw numbers reported won’t be noticed so much.  It will be the impressions:  how they feel about their own job security and what is happening with friends, neighbors, and relatives.

The consumer confidence and right/wrong track numbers are what counts.

• Commander_Chico

Great.  Keep reading Zero Hedge.  Read ALL of it. The truth will set you free.

•  OK

• Commander_Chico

Your son is out of Iraq, بفضل الله

•  Yes.

• MichaelLaprarie

Adjoran, I agree with you as well.

There’s the old saying – “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose yours.”  Right now, there are very few places where hiring and economic growth are strong.

The government can keep lying about employment numbers, but as long as layoffs and cutbacks continue and long-term unemployment remains chronic (which is the general situation with people I personally know, save for those who work in low level/high turnover labor and service positions) people will eventually quit believing it.

• MichaelLaprarie

Hey, where’s Stephen?

• Brucehenry

Funny thing about Tyler Durden’s “Implied Unemployment” chart. Looks to me like it’s been happening for 30plus years!

Why, according to this chart, “implied” unemployment was almost 14% under Ron Reagan, far worse than anything we’ve seen under Obama!  It was higher than the reported rate pretty much throughout Reagan’s presidency. Which means (as Balloon Juice says) that if we’re measuring who the worst POTUS in history is by the “implied unemployment” rate and by how far the numbers are “lying” then Reagan wins by a mile.

Were the government and the media LYING about unemployment numbers back in 1984, when the administration was touting declining unemployment numbers and Reagan won reelection?

I don’t know if you saw that thing on TV a few years ago, but Reagan is dead.

• yes they were …  the media was more balanced (liberal vs conservative) back then than they are now …

what you ignore is the trend of either unemployment number …  notice that under Reagan it was plunging on both measures … also notice that never before have the 2 numbers diverged like they have over the last 2 years …

the reported number has gone down while the implied number has gone up …  never ever before of a 1 -2 year period has that happened …  so yes, they are cooking the books …

• Brucehenry

Yes, but apparently the Myth of the Complicit Liberal Media will never die. I’m pretty sure I heard conservatives complaining about it — constantly — back in the 80s.

My point is that the author of this post accuses the government and the media of “lying” about unemployment numbers to get a Democratic president reelected, while ignoring the inconvenient “fact” that they evidently did the same for Reagan.

Or is this one of those cases of “lies, damned lies, and statistics”? Or maybe that’s what it was in 1984, but now it’s Gospel?

In other words, does “implied unemployment” mean anything, or does it only mean something when a Democrat is president?