by Michael Krieger
I’m surprised it took this long, but it’s finally become mainstream thinking to acknowledge that the official unemployment rate is little more than nonsensical propaganda. As the emergence of massive populist movements on both the “right” and the “left” have demonstrated, something ain’t right in the U.S. economy, and everyday people get it.
Democrats typically cite the current unemployment rate of 4.9 percent as evidence of significant economic improvement since the last recession, but a report this week from the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research says otherwise.
Author and research associate Nick Buffie looked beyond the main jobless rate to more than a half-dozen measures including prime-age employment, labor compensation and the rate at which workers are quitting their jobs. When you factor these in, “the economy is weaker than the unemployment rate says and we haven’t fully recovered from the recession yet,” Buffie says.