Keith Hall, the former head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces the federal government's monthly jobs report, told New York Post columnist John Crudele that the official unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is wrong and might be too low by 3 percentage points, according to Crudele's column on Thursday.
Though Hall now works for the Mercatus Center, a right-wing think tank at George Mason University partially funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers (Charles Koch sits on its board), he is not suggesting that the BLS is cooking the books, as Jack Welch and other conservatives have suggested.
What he is saying is that the unemployment rate doesn't capture all of the people sitting on the sidelines in despair of finding a job. The employment-population ratio, the percentage of the working-age population actually working, sits at 58.7 percent, Hall notes, well below a peak of 63 percent before the recession and the lowest rate since the early 1980s. This suggests to Hall that there are a lot of people not showing up in the official unemployment rate.
Tell me all about it. I am officially "employed" though I am actually underemployed with no silver lining in sight. It's almost hopeless in my case because what employer is going to "invest" money into an older employee who will get early Social Security in three-and-a-half years?
There is little out there at all in the way of real jobs that aren't a bunch of blue collar or sales-crap positions. Blue collar is definitely out because of weight requirements and sales jobs are out since I don't have the ability to bullshit people. Of course there is no money (to say nothing of no demand) for self-employment.
Congress has no intention at all of doing one damned thing about it. The faster the United States slides into a third world country, the better in their view.