RUSH: The unemployment numbers are out. TIME Magazine. This whole subject has been a source of great irritation for me. We now have, folks, 94 million Americans not working. The labor force participation rate is at an all-time low. Now, the labor force participation rate is a percentage of able-bodied people actually working, and it’s 62.6%, which is really low, it’s an historic low.
What it translates to real numbers is 94 million Americans not working, and yet they report the unemployment number 5.1%. It’s an insult. It’s an insult to everybody’s intelligence, and here we have TIME Magazine, they go through all of these numbers very excitedly.
“The US economy added 173,000 jobs in August while the unemployment rate fell to 5.1%. The total number of new nonfarm payroll jobs is about 50,000 lower than economists had expected,” but that was tempered by the fact that estimates for job gains in June and July were revised up. Yay! And then comes: “Yet we are seeing no recovery in wage growth or labor force participation.” Well, duh. Of course you’re not seeing any recovery in wage growth or labor force participation because we are not creating any net new jobs because we do not have an economy, much less wages, growing. But the government says the unemployment rate’s 5.1%. We had an unemployment rate with George W. Bush toward the end of his regime at 4.7%. That’s statistically full.
I’m sorry, I just saw a picture of Biden wearing a yarmulke and I didn’t know what it was. That’s the kind of thing that makes me think I should turn the TV off. It’s the biggest yarmulke I’ve ever seen is the problem. What in the world? I thought maybe it was a bandage, you know, more brain surgery. Excuse me, my friends. I was deeply distracted.
Also we have, you know, yesterday during the program we joined in progress the Trump, I guess you could call it a press conference, following his signing of the pledge. Man, you ought read about that, too. Depends on where you go in the Drive-Bys, he’s either signed his death warrant, he’s either signed away his legitimate chance at winning the Republican nomination. Or he has pulled one over on the Republicans. It’s just, I don’t know, hard to keep track.
It’s a good thing I know what’s right and what’s wrong and it’s a good thing this stuff does nothing but amuse me. But, boy, I can imagine people who don’t know what they know, don’t know what I know and are not as confident that what they know is right, going through the Drive-Bys could be just as confusing and depressing as anything you could do today. That’s why I am here.
Anyway, 94 million Americans not working, it’s all you need to know. Everything else is irrelevant. Ninety-four million Americans not working. The adult population of the country is 210, 220 million. For crying out loud, we’re almost at half of the adult population not working. Sorry, folks, you’re not gonna have economic growth, you’re not gonna have wage growth, and you’re not gonna have private sector growth because the government’s taking it all, bit by bit, little by little, bite by bite.
TIME Magazine, “Yeah, yeah, we’re seeing no recovery in wage growth or labor force participation.” Now, if you’re a neophyte and an idiot and you see the unemployment rate going down from nearly 8% to 5.1%, you would believe that we’re creating jobs left and right. And if the labor force participation rate, meaning if the number of people not working goes up — in fact, let me put it to you this way, see how you would explain it. The unemployment rate’s going down, which is supposedly an improvement. Three years ago, two years ago, unemployment was at 8%. Today, it’s at 5.1%. That’s a huge improvement. So why are more people not working today than they were three years ago? How do you explain that?
How in the world can anybody, with economic expertise — and I doubt… You know, how many people really know what the labor force participation rate is anyway? But here we have TIME Magazine. I mean, supposedly these are the Wizards of Smart. These are the people who’ve been to journalism school and they’ve been to college. They’ve been to university. Many of them have graduate degrees. They’re supposed to know this stuff, and they’re sitting there stymied. They believe the unemployment rate is 5.1%, down from 8%; they’re perplexed.
“How come the labor force participation rate isn’t any better? How come more people aren’t working? ‘Cause the unemployment rate says that’s exactly what happened.” No, it doesn’t. For about the umpteenth time, the unemployment rate that is reported, which is categorized as U-3, does not count people who have been out of work for four years or more and have given up looking for a job. Yet they’re still out of work, and they’re still not working.
They’ve given up. Their unemployment benefits may have expired. They’re still out of work, but they’re not counted as being out of work, and people at TIME Magazine don’t know that? It wouldn’t be hard to get this story right, is the point. Now, I know there’s a predisposition not to rain on Obama’s parade. Obama says there’s an economic recovery going on, an economic boom, and, of course, the Drive-Bys have to be in support of that.
I just saw a graphic: 5% of the gas stations in the country are selling gasoline at under two bucks a gallon. I think it was 5% of the stations. It might have been 5% of the… I think it was 5% of the stations. It was 5% of something. Anyway, that’s great news for consumers there, but that does not indicate a growing economy, either. It’s a little bit of a dichotomous situation.