Magazine article The New American

Unemployment Smoke and Mirrors

Magazine article The New American

Unemployment Smoke and Mirrors

Article excerpt

You know the economy is in the tank when officials hail the loss of 539,000 non-farm jobs in the U.S. economy during the month of April as good news. President Barack Obama termed the latest unemployment figures "somewhat encouraging," despite the fact that unemployment rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent nationally. Obama was somewhat encouraged in part because most economists had expected April job losses to be higher than 600,000, as had happened in each of the first three months of 2009.

Viewing such statistics superficially, it appears that the recession is softening. But is that really the case? "In April, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries," the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released the data, noted in a dismally honest press release, adding, "Overall, private-sector employment fell by 611,000."

But how can the Bureau of Labor Statistics report a net loss of only 539,000 non-farm jobs while also reporting that another 611,000 jobs were lost in the private sector--a difference of 72,000 jobs? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.