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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Going Broke Faster" - Economic Numbers Are Less Than Meets The Eye

Investors can be forgiven for thinking they hit the trifecta last Friday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment had dropped to 3.9%, the lowest in almost 20 years.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta reported that its widely followed GDP forecasting tool was showing projected growth for the second quarter of 2018 at 4%, exactly where Trump boosters like Larry Kudlow said it would be.

Finally, the Dow Jones industrial average rallied 332 points (1.39%), partly in response to the other good news. It was almost enough to make a trader sing, “Happy days are here again.”

Or not.

The fact is that this good news hides more than it reveals. A look behind the numbers discloses a sobering outlook for investors.

Let’s start with the employment report. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics report dated May 4, 2018, showed the official U.S. unemployment rate for April 2018 at 3.9%, with a separate unemployment rate for adult men of 4.1% and adult women of 3.7%.

The 3.9% unemployment rate is based on a total workforce of 160 million people, of whom 153 million are employed and 6.3 million are unemployed. The 3.9% figure is the lowest unemployment rate since 2001, and before that, the early 1970s.

The average rate of unemployment in the U.S. from 1948 to 2018 is 5.78%. By these superficial measures, unemployment is indeed low and the economy is arguably at full employment.

Still, these statistics don’t tell the whole story.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

But no one will listen because the MSM is busy shoving these fake #'s on you. Unemployment is MUCH higher than stated and this bogus calculating was concocted but the Obama team to make himself look better.

Anonymous said...

728, the formula that is used, has been used since before Obama. I can't remember the exact wordage or titles, but I believe there are two different ones, and currently we use the most favorable one. As much as I dislike Obama, this formula can not be blamed on him.

Anonymous said...

8:24 AM that is not true. not one word of that is true.. Obama changed the analysis formula to make himself look better. Look it up. It is a well known fact. This topic has been a hot issue since Obama changed the formula because people who's unemployment ran out and could not find work were no longer counted - and they were complaining about the bogus facts.

Anonymous said...

He has a lot of blame to go around 8:24. The only thing I can say about his success, he did come close to doing what he set out to do. Damn near destroyed this great country.

Trump/Pence 2020!