Gallup Chair and CEO Jim Clifton said this week that the unemployment rate measured and reported by the Labor Department “amounts to a Big Lie.”
“There’s no other way to say this,” said Clifton. “The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.”
As Clifton explained, Gallup’s Job Creation Index, which just released data showing the labor market in the same condition as it was in 2014, defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. However, the government considers an individual who clocks in a minimum of one hour of work in a week and was paid at least $20, as employed.
Currently, according to Mr. Clifton, the percentage of those with a good job in the U.S. is at a staggeringly low rate of 44 percent, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. The U.S. economy must be “50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class,” as measured by Gallup.
“And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory,” Clifton said. “A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.”
The labor participation rate, which is currently sitting at a 36-year low, receives a good deal of alternative media attention while wholly ignored by the mainstream media. However, the employment-to-population ratio is ignored by all, save for PPD and apparently Mr. Clifton. An economy suffering from chronic long-term employment cannot never recover with an employment-to-population ratio in the mid 50s, particularly when considering Gallup’s methodologies versus the BLS and Labor Department. That is sadly where it has been President Obama’s entire tenure.
“I hear all the time that ‘unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it,'” said Clifton. “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. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.”