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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I want to get into the unemployment news here, folks, and I want to tell you… I really wish this were true. I wish everything they were telling us about this were true. You know, I was going through all of this and remembering so many contradictions. Do you realize we’re into our 19th month since they say the recession ended? Nineteen months into ‘the recovery,’ nineteen months since they say the recession ended. Now, we’ve got this job number: 36,000 new jobs. Everybody says that’s disappointing, but somehow the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.7% to 9%. Now, keep in mind we are in the presidential election campaign season already.

And also keep in mind no president, no incumbent has ever been reelected with an unemployment rate above 8%. So that’s where we’re headed here. Now, we were told… Before I get into any of the base numbers for this month and today’s report, I want to remind you of this. We were told one year ago, almost — actually probably closer now to 13 months ago — by Associated Press that it would take three million jobs (new jobs, three million newly created jobs) to lower the unemployment rate 1%. They were just reporting it. Other quasi-experts have said the same thing. So people have been taking that number and forecasting the future and saying, ‘Well, we’re gonna get us back down to where we were, around the five to six percent unemployment numbers.

‘But it’s gonna take to 2014, 2015.’ In fact, here’s how it reads from January 21st, 2010. ‘Another way of looking at it,’ writes Jeannine Aversa, of the AP: ‘A net total of about 3 million jobs would have to be created this year to lower the average unemployment rate by 1 percentage point for 2010…’ Ladies and gentlemen, in the last two months we have lowered the unemployment rate by .8%, almost a full point, with only 139,000 new jobs: 103,000 jobs in December, and 36,000 in January. Now, the unemployment rate dropped to 9% with 36,000 jobs. The number of jobs created is a thimble.

It’s irrelevant. It’s almost statistically zero. Yet the unemployment rate has plummeted almost a point. How is this happening? I’ll tell you: We’re being spun like a top, and here’s exactly how they’re doing it. They have just subtracted 2.2 million jobs from the universe of available jobs. And how did they arrive at the 2.2 million number? Very simple: 2.2 million people in the last reporting period have stopped looking for work. Well, we’ve told you about the U6 unemployment rate, the U3. The U6 calculates that. It takes into account everybody out of work for whatever reason. The U3, which is the standard reported unemployment rate every…

Like the 9% is U3, and that consists of people who are looking for work. It does not count those who have given up, who have been looking for years that have given up. It does not count those whose unemployment benefits have expired. But the U6 does. The U6 is actually up 17-point-something percent. The U6 is simply a government categorization. It’s the letter ‘U,’ dash, ‘six’ (I want to make this visible for those of you listening to radio) versus U3, and that figure actually went up. It’s the more accurate of the two. So even by virtue of adding 36,000 new jobs, the real unemployment rate went up 17-point-something percent.

The reported unemployment rate went down almost one full percent, getting ever closer to the magic number of 8%. That’s where the Obama regime is headed if they can massage it and pull it off. Now, okay… (interruption) Yes, there is an exception: FDR was reelected twice with a jobless number higher an 8%, but that’s because FDR never squandered the goodwill that he had. Everybody still believed he was doing his best with the New Deal and to fix everything, and they had a lot of hope and change invested in FDR. That’s missing with Obama now. I don’t know if ever gonna recapture that.

So anyway, the bottom line is they just decided: Since 2.2 million people have dropped off of the rolls from those looking for work they have just subtracted that many jobs from the universe of jobs available throughout the country. Just 2.2 million. Well, when you reduce the overall number of total jobs, you obviously are going to reduce the percentage of overall unemployment, the way you calculate it for the U3 category. But the U6 number continues to be the real story, and it went up over 17%. There isn’t… As I say, 19 months ago the recession ended, theoretically; therefore, we’re 19 months into a recovery. You don’t feel it. You just don’t. You know it when it’s happening, and it doesn’t feel like it’s happening.

Much more on this, too, plus lots of other stuff lurking away.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, the unemployment rate of 9.0% today, that’s the federal government. That’s the Labor Department, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yesterday the Gallup people put out their story. They count other figures, such as those who would like to be full-time employed, and they count them in a way the federal government does not. But I don’t know. Who do we want to trust here, Gallup or the Obama regime? I mean, this is a toughie. But Gallup finds that US unemployment’s up slightly in January to 9.8%, underemployment was at 18.9% at the end of December. It was 19. So it is not improving.

They have also said something in addition to this business that you have to create three million jobs to lower the unemployment rate a full point (and we’ve only had 133,000 jobs added). They also say that you need 5% GDP growth to lower unemployment 1%. We haven’t had anywhere near 5% growth in the economy. Now, the AP is claiming that the unemployment rate that they reported today has gone down more in the last two months than in the last 53 years. So they’re pulling out all the stops. They’re doing everything they can to make it look like the policies of our young president are finally starting to take hold. After 19 months of sweat and toil, 19 months of fingers and noses to the grindstone, finally it’s all starting to pay off! But it’s not.

From the Zero Hedge website: ‘At 64.2%, the labor force participation rate … is now at a fresh 26-year low, the lowest since March 1984…’ This pretty much self-explanatory. The labor force participation rate. It plunges. This is the number of jobs in the country. I don’t know where they get the number. I must be honest here. This is the Zero Hedge website, Tyler Durden is the poster’s name. I don’t know where they get the number. It might be in the BLS, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. I don’t know. But what he seems to be saying here is that the population is lower because of people dropping out of the workforce.

So those not in the labor force has increased to 86.2 million people, 2.2 million in one year — 2.2 million people who have simply stopped looking for work, meaning there are 2.2 million fewer jobs and that’s how you get to 9.0% on their unemployment rate. I would love to be able to sit here and telling you we’re not being spun and that the news is fabulous and finally we’ve turned the corner, but it just doesn’t seem to be the case. CNN: ‘January Jobs Report Disappoints,’ and there’s a little sentence here at the very end of their story: ‘The Labor Department also revised payroll numbers for 2010. Eight months were revised downward by a combined total of 298,000 jobs. Four months were revised upward, adding 83,000 jobs to the 2010 total.

‘Overall, there were 215,000 fewer jobs added in 2010 than previously reported after the seasonal adjustment. The labor market typically needs at least 300,000 job gains each month to make a difference in the unemployment rate.’ So there’s no legitimate way to move this number down to 9% from 9.7. Remember we’re told… This story says: Well, you need 300,000 new jobs a month a year to bring it down one point. Others say a different number altogether. AP a year ago, I just read you that story. But sadly, folks, it just doesn’t add up — and that’s the scoop on the unemployment. Every Friday we have to go through this. Every Friday we have to spend time explaining how we’re being spun by our own government on this.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I checked some e-mail during the break, and I found some people who are still confused about this unemployment business. I don’t blame you. It’s tough to follow numbers on the radio, even presented by such a highly trained broadcast specialist as me, but here’s from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and I think this will help. It’s still convoluted, because we’re being spun here. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 9.0. That’s the unemployment rate. That’s U3 in January. Nonfarm payroll employment changed little. We gained 36,000 jobs. So we are supposed to believe that a measly increase of 36,000 jobs made the unemployment rate go down almost a half a point. ‘The unemployment rate (9.0 percent) declined by 0.4 percentage point for the second month in a row. The number of unemployed persons decreased by about 600,000 in January to 13.9 million, while the labor force was unchanged.’

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 600,000 while the labor force was unchanged? Sorry. That is not even mathematically possible. Maybe the explanation can be found in the Bureau of Labor Statistics accompanying announcement below, which is changes to the employment situation tables and data. ‘After accounting for the annual adjustment to the population controls, the employment-population ratio,’ was unchanged. Folks, just trust me on this. If we’re reading this correctly, after doing this apparently brand-new annual adjustment to population controls, the employment to population numbers went up. So the workforce, number of people with jobs, didn’t go down. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just decided the US population was actually smaller. Bottom line is this. What they have done, they’ve just taken a number of people, it’s around two million, two million people who have stopped looking for work, and they’ve just decided that there are two million less jobs overall to be had, reducing the universe.

Now, there’s another way of looking at this, and it ain’t good. This is all about this employment participation business, all kinds of new terminology being used here. But they’re telling us the 26-year low in the workforce participation survey, a 26-year low. What that means is opportunity is at a 26-year low. And we talk about the United States as the land of opportunity. If they’re simply gonna erase two million jobs because there aren’t two million jobs that there used to be, well, we’re faced with a declining opportunity. That’s not good. Breaks my heart. United States of America.

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