Sorry, But The Real Unemployment Rate Is 9.8%, Not 5%

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The government wants to create a perception, a “reality,” which does not conform to reality. If one tells the public that the sky is red long enough, over and over, they (or a significant portion of the population) will come to believe that the sky is indeed red. At least for a while. The politicians want you to believe!

We are puttering along. The drop in gas prices has given some people breathing room while it has also caused serious economic pressure in fracking country. Putter putter. Houses are being built but new permits are on decline. Putter putter. Wages remain stagnant. The middle class continues to eek along. Putter putter.

Meanwhile serious global economic challenges loom while we putter along.

It could be worse. (I once read this was Israel’s unofficial motto.) But it isn’t good either. It certainly isn’t 5% unemployment good. (At least what 5% used to mean anyway.) Consider that 5% unemployment was considered by most economists to be generally (or close to) the rate of “full employment.” If people want a job they can find a job. The 5% rate represents just the friction between people leaving jobs and finding new ones in a transitory way. Systemic unemployment is not really a factor. The economy at 5% unemployment should be humming along. In the past 5% unemployment was pretty good indicator of economic health and general contentment.

This country is anything but content right now.

(From Investor’s Business Daily)

We’d like to think that Joe Biden’s long-ago promise of a “Summer of Recovery” was around the corner, but growth isn’t accelerating – it’s slowing.

We had 2% growth in the third quarter of 2015.  Then we had 1.4% growth in the 4th quarter of 2015. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta forecast on Friday that the first quarter GDP of this year is estimated at a microscopic 0.7%.

The big pullback is business capital spending. Firms aren’t building new plants and research facilities, and they’re not buying machinery and computers and forklifts at the pace they normally would. Why not? One answer is the global slowdown. But another is the assault against wealth and profits in Washington.

Click here for the article.