“Unexpectedly” weak “growth”
So employers added 74,000 jobs in December. Hooray. That’s the lowest rate in the past three years, and “unexpectedly” far below the 197,000 jobs that economists predicted. (Liberals always use the word “unexpected” to describe consistently bad economic news.) Still, unemployment allegedly dropped to 6.7 percent. That’s because more than half a million workers dropped out of the market completely in December. That “lowers” the total number of unemployed people in the United States to about 10 million people. This is because, remember, people who have been unemployed for more than 12 months are no longer counted as “unemployed.” Instead, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls them “discouraged workers” or “marginally attached to the workforce.” They simply don’t count in the equation anymore. The current unemployment rate of 6.7 percent is the U3 number, which does not count the “discouraged” workers who have stopped looking, nor does it count the workers who want a fulltime job but who are working part time because there’s nothing else. If you count those discouraged and unwillingly-part-time workers, that is the U6 number, which is 13.1 percent, almost double what the government trumpets in the news.
Clearly the economy is not improving. More and more workers are just giving up on getting a job. And this is why unemployment benefits should NOT be extended, because they remove any impetus to get a job. If people are not hungry, they will not try.
And they need to try.