“The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading,” declared Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup Inc. in an opinion piece on the company’s website, observed Grumpy Editor.
That statement didn’t rattle major media, despite the fact it came from the head of an 80-year-old research-based, global performance-management consulting company, noted for its Gallup Poll, with 30 offices in almost two dozen countries.
“Right now,” continued Clifton, “we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is ‘down’ to 5.6 percent. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media love a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.”
Clifton pointed out, “If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job --- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks --- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed.” Currently, he added, “as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed.”
He said few Americans know that an unemployed person performing one hour of work per week and paid at least $20 is “not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6 percent.” Also, those with degrees working 10 hours part time but wanting full-time work are termed severely underemployed --- and also not counted in the 5.6 percent, he explained.
“Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck,” said Clifton. “Right now, the U.S. is delivering 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.”
FYI, IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE EDITOR MISSED THESE…
At the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, President Barack Obama greeted the Dalai Lama as “a good friend” and “a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion and inspires us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings.” In reporting that, the Washington press corps overlooked the Tibetan spiritual leader’s departure from the White House five years ago when he was ushered out a side door (some referred to it as back door), walking past big piles of bagged trash in the snow…NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ false claim of being on a helicopter forced down by Iraqi rocket fire in 2003 was broken by Travis Tritten, Stars and Stripes reporter in Washington, D.C…With saber rattling in Washington, the U.S. Army has fewer than 500,000 active-duty soldiers for the first time in 10 years…The Washington Post reported 64 percent of investigative journalists surveyed by Pew Research Center and Columbia's Tow Center for Digital Journalism believe the U.S. government has "probably collected data" on their communications with the number rising to 71 percent from investigative reporters who cover national security, foreign affairs or the federal government…In response to the previous day’s move by Washington to revive long-stalled six-nation talks on denuclearization, North Korea on Wednesday ruled out resuming dialogue with the "gangster-like" U.S. and vowed to respond to any U.S. aggression with nuclear strikes and cyber warfare. That follows similar lines heard since the mid 1950s…Dramatic footage of the low-flying TransAsia aircraft that hit a highway barrier and crashed into a river in Taiwan, killing at least 40, was captured on a dashboard video camera --- with no print or broadcast media crediting the vehicle’s driver…The 113-year-old Waurika News-Democrat, one of Oklahoma’s oldest newspapers, printed its final edition Wednesday. The weekly’s management cited "difficult economic conditions"…TV news anchor gets an exclusive. Savannah, Ga. WSAV’s Russ Riesinger was shopping at a PetSmart when a man walked in, announced he was robbing the store, grabbed cash from the registers and took off. But not far. Riesinger chased the man and held him until police arrived…Ouch! The University of California will require incoming students in 2017 to be screened for tuberculosis and vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, meningococcus, tetanus and whooping cough…The Internal Revenue Service said budget cuts this tax season resulted in a limited amount of federal tax forms and instruction booklets usually placed in libraries and post offices…Eastman Kodak Co. said it will continue to manufacture motion picture film.
Oops! A front page Wall Street Journal story on license plate tracking placed Nevada among states that border Mexico.