RUSH: Here is Tom in Dexter, Michigan. Great to have you, sir. How you doing?
CALLER: Merry Christmas and 74 million-plus dittos.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: Well, like many, my day job died from COVID a while back, and this past Saturday I filled out my last chip for unemployment. And I’m wondering, is the Obama era calculation a thing he put in effect in his first term still in there that if you aren’t receiving unemployment, you don’t count in the universe of jobs anymore in order to keep —
RUSH: You know, that is a good question, and I don’t know. I don’t know if the Obama method of counting unemployment has survived or not.
CALLER: Tucker alluded to it the other night which got me thinking about it, I thought you might know about this thing, but it’s like are we suddenly gonna see unemployment drop to zero at the end of the December or January whenever whoever gets inaugurated gets inaugurated, unemployment’s zero, even though we know that’s not real?
RUSH: You don’t expect unemployment to get down to zero, do you?
CALLER: Well, it could get below three – I mean, there’s a lot of people who are unemployed who got unemployed early on and all their benefits went out so that means the one — the U-6 or U9, the one calculation, they don’t count anymore.
RUSH: Well, now, the U-6 and the U-3.
CALLER: That’s it.
RUSH: They still exist. And they existed prior to Obama.
CALLER: Right, but when Obama changed the calculation, the two split. They didn’t track and parallel with each other. They count things slightly differently but I know there was a point where one was diverging much more differently than the other one. And under Trump they kind of got back in line ’cause so many people got jobs again. And the numbers really did track. But now I think we’re gonna see a split again, where one of them is tracking reality and one of them is tracking this fantasy number if the old calculations are affected, people that don’t receive unemployment benefits don’t count as unemployed anymore. Kind of in the weeds, but…
RUSH: Well, I don’t know that that was specific to Obama, either. My memory is that once your unemployment benefits expired and if you were not seen as seeking employment, then you weren’t counted as being unemployed. I don’t think that’s an Obama-era change. I think that’s always been the case. Now, I would have to double-check, of course. There may be 74 plus million that would disagree with me on it, but I’m gonna —
CALLER: — jigger the number in order to get his number below 8% because presidents don’t get reelected if their unemployment number is above 8. So he did something to cause him —
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just don’t remember the specifics. And I’m gonna have to check. Anyway, I appreciate the call, Tom, very much. The unemployment figure that’s reported is the U-3. And it’s not the most accurate calculation. U-6 is actually the most accurate calculation, but the U-3 is what’s reported. Letter U, 3. And it still only counts people who are still looking for work, theoretically. And that’s based on projections as well.
The whole unemployment, Bureau of Labor Statistics and these numbers are largely projections anyway based on various computer models of the past because there’s no way they can interview everybody that doesn’t have a job and find out what they’re doing so they have to come up with these projections based on past behavior.