In January, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force,
wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
survey. Table A-16.)

I will let Rush Limbaugh explain it, he does a much better job than I…
RUSH:  So all you people that are finding jobs out there, isn’t it great, isn’t it fabulous?  Everywhere you look people are getting hired.  You can see it in the unemployment number.  Why, do you know we created seasonally adjusted 200-some-odd-thousand jobs?  Do you know what the raw number is?  From the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own table, the raw number, before there’s any seasonal adjustment, the raw number is that from December to January, we lost two million jobs.

RUSH:  Don’t ask me about seasonal adjustment.  I’ve been trying to figure this out all morning, and I can’t.  But the raw numbers, 130 million jobs in December, 128 million jobs in January, give or take a couple hundred thousand either side. But when the seasonal adjustments take place, there is a gain of 200, whatever they’re reporting, 33,000 jobs.  Now, what’s happening is the labor force is shrinking.  There are fewer jobs.  Even the Drive-Bys, so excited, they can’t wait to report the good news, but even they are reporting that the labor force participation rate, number of jobs out there, is continuing to dwindle, and most of the jobs being created are low wage.

In December, the number of jobs in this country — this the from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own table today, they do the unemployment numbers.  The number of jobs in December, 132,952,000.  The number of jobs in January, 130,400… so there are actually two and half million fewer people working in January than there were in December.  But those are raw numbers.  That’s before the seasonal adjustment take us place.  Table B-1 is where this is from, from the BLS numbers.  Now, I don’t pretend to understand the seasonal adjustment.  I’m not taking issue with it.  It seems like the statistical formula that’s used, given what they’re trying to accomplish, makes sense.  All I know is that the raw number is down two and a half million jobs.  I’m not making it up and it’s not in a Drive-By story and it’s not some Looney Toon blog.  It’s the government.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But none of that’s gonna matter. None of it’s gonna matter.  I don’t want to be an “I told you so,” but way back last year, even recently toward the end of last year, this being an election year, I predicted.  But you knew.  You knew what was gonna happen when this year started. You knew that the statistics are that no president has ever been reelected when the unemployment rate’s over 8%.  So guess what it’s gonna be by the time we get to Election Day?  It’s just that simple.

“Long-term stress remains at the U6 measure.”  That’s 15.1% and that’s the combined total of people who’ve given up looking for work.  Remember, the unemployment number is people still looking for work and can’t find any, up to 99 weeks of unemployment, maybe a little longer, but the U6 is everybody, including those who’ve quit.  It’s 15.1%, and the unemployment rate for blacks, 13.6%.  For teenagers, 23.2%, and for Hispanics, ten and a half percent.  And yet everybody is harping on Romney for not caring about the poor.  It’s Obama’s that has these numbers.

Now, more from Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge.  “A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%,” meaning the universe of jobs.  “Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force,” the number of jobs not available to be filled, “exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that’s not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month!”

That’s part of this two and half million fewer jobs.  Are you hearing me on this, folks?  It is corrupt as it can be.  Well, now, the wait a minute, though.  There’s nothing new here in the seasonal adjustment.  Normally we never talk raw numbers.  Nobody ever reports or talks about raw numbers.  I happened to see today the raw numbers, and little red flags are going up, my curiosity is being piqued here.  And then I see that the labor force participation rate, 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month, and it happens to be December to January.  “So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7%.”

That means the number of people working and looking is just 63% of our population.  When you take those numbers and when you shrink the labor force, you are reducing the overall universe of jobs, and therefore the unemployment rate can do nothing but come down.  It can do nothing but fall when you reduce the universe number that employed and unemployed are being measured against.  Now, we noted the other day, the Congressional Budget Office, let’s not forget their report.  We’re looking at 1% economic growth in 2013, 2.2% economic growth this year.  And the CBO report that we had admits that the labor force numbers are skewing the real unemployment number down.

The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 9, 2012, at
8:30 a.m. (EST).

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