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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Derrick in Mesa, Arizona. I’m glad you called, sir. Great to have you with us.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Mr. Limbaugh. It’s a pleasure to speak with you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I have a question about something that you touched on about a month ago, and I’m not sure if — you know, I need your expertise helping clarify this.

RUSH: Happy to help out here.


CALLER: Sorry. The Obama administration, the White House, the government put out the unemployment numbers for February and March, and they were, what, 8.3%, both of them?

RUSH: No, March was 8.2%.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: We lost jobs, but the unemployment number went down.

CALLER: ‘Cause they took away jobs from the universe of jobs.

RUSH: Well, yeah, they just erased some jobs from the universe, and some people stopped looking, and, yeah, monkeying around with the numbers.

CALLER: Well, my question is, is this just monkeying around or is it something deeper? My question is, when people run out of unemployment benefits, they get dropped off, they’re not counted anymore. One of the excuses that I heard about the unemployment number not going down as much as it should have was that the people that had stopped looking suddenly came back. How are they counted?

RUSH: Because they’re counted again. The way it works is this. There’s two numbers involved here. The government calls the number that is reported every month U3, the letter U and three.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: And that consists of people who are looking for jobs, actively seeking work, but can’t find any, period. The U6 number counts people who are not looking for jobs and who have given up looking for jobs, and that number is around 12, anywhere 12 to 15%. The U3 number that gets reported every month, that’s the one that’s 8.2% for March.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: When people have zoomed past their 99 weeks of unemployment, and they have stopped looking, when they come back and start looking for work, they are counted again.

CALLER: How do they know to count them? I’m thinking myself, if I were in that situation and I —

RUSH: They don’t.

CALLER: — was on unemployment —

RUSH: They don’t. They monitor a certain number of businesses, they have a statistical program with a computer, and they just assume, they poll business and so forth, but they assume, there’s a lot of assuming that X-number of people who have been out of work and not looking for work for a while start looking again. If they’ve been out of work for years and say they haven’t looked for work, they’re no longer unemployed. But they poll 60,000 households to get this number, is basically what they do, 60,000 households and then some businesses, and they just assume that a certain percentage — all this is a wild guess.

But the thing that you can’t forget here, and I keep drilling this into people, the labor force participation rate, meaning the total number of jobs that are out there for people to fill is down by over two million. There are two million fewer places to work since Obama was inaugurated. Well, if you lower the universe of jobs and then divide in that the number of people looking, you’re obviously gonna have a smaller unemployment number, which is also happening. The bottom line is, there is no massive new job creation going on, and there isn’t any economic growth to speak of. That’s all you need to know.

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