Nearly At ‘Full Employment’? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie

by | Mar 9, 2015 | Headline News | 49 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Editor’s Note: We have more people unemployed in America today than ever before and the real unemployment rate is hovering around the same levels as the Great Depression. Nearly one in four Americans are unable to find work, but according to the statistics being released by the government and parroted by the mainstream media, we are now at ‘full employment’ in this country. The nearly 50 million Americans on food stamps and over 90 million people who are not in the workforce might disagree. 

    In the following analysis Michael Snyder, author of The Beginning of the End and founder of The Economic Collapse Blog, explains what’s really happening on Main Street.

    The picture below shows a depression-era soup line set up by the Al Capone organization to provide food for the unemployed.  Of course, there are no “soup kitchens” in the 21st century, save for the homeless, so Americans are completely oblivious to reality. During the depression everyone understood because they could see their fellow countrymen struggling and waiting for hours for a bowl of hot noodles. Today, soup kitchen lines have been replaced by electronic benefits cards- millions of them. We may not see people lining up on the street for food, but make no mistake, modern day soup lines at large retailers are still happening and on a much larger scale than the 1930’s.


    Nearly At ‘Full Employment’? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie
    By Michael Snyder

    On Friday, we learned that the official “unemployment rate” has fallen to 5.5 percent. Since an unemployment rate of 5 percent is considered to be “full employment” by many economists, many in the mainstream media took this as a sign that the U.S. economy has almost fully “recovered” since the last recession.  In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, some Federal Reserve officials believe that “the U.S. economy is already at full employment“.  But how can this possibly be?  It certainly does not square with reality.  Personally, I know people that have been struggling with unemployment for years and that still cannot find a decent job.  And I get emails from readers all the time that are heartbroken because they are suffering through extended periods of unemployment.  So what in the world is going on?  How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work?  Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading?

    It is my contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point.  The following are 10 reasons why…

    #1 Since February 2008, the size of the U.S. population has grown by 16.8 million people, but the number of full-time jobs has actually decreased by 140,000.

    #2 The percentage of working age Americans that have a job right now is still about the same as it was during the depths of the last recession.  Posted below is a chart that shows how the employment-population ratio has changed since the beginning of the decade.  Does this look like a full-blown “employment recovery” to you?…


    #3 The primary reason for the decline in the official “unemployment rate” is the fact that the government now considers millions upon millions of long-term unemployed workers to “no longer be in the labor force”.  Just check out the following numbers

    The number of Americans participating in the labor force has been on a decline for the past few years. Nearly 33 percent of the Americans above age 16 are not part of the workforce, the highest number since 1978. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report issued recently has found 92,898,000 Americans above age 16 not a part of the labor force of the country as on February 2015.

    When President Obama took over the office in January 2009, nearly 80,529,000 Americans were not a part of the labor force. The number has increase by nearly 12 million over the last few years.

    #4 Over the past couple of years, the labor force participation rate in this country has been hovering near mutli-decade lows

    The labor force participation rate hovered between 62.9 percent and 62.7 percent in the eleven months from April 2014 through February, and has been 62.9 percent or lower in 13 of the 17 months since October 2013.

    Prior to that, the last time the rate was below 63 percent was 37 years ago, in March 1978 when it was 62.8 percent, the same rate it was in February.

    #5 When you add the number of “officially unemployed” Americans (8.7 million) to the number of Americans “not in the labor force” (92.9 million), you get a grand total of 101.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  Does that sound like “full employment” to you?

    #6 The quality of our jobs continues to decline.  Right now, only 44 percent of U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week.

    #7 Millions upon millions of Americans have been forced to take part-time jobs because that is all they can find, and wages for American workers are at depressingly low levels.  The following numbers come directly from the Social Security Administration

    -39 percent of American workers make less than $20,000 a year.

    -52 percent of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

    -63 percent of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.

    -72 percent of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.

    #8 The average duration of unemployment for an unemployed worker is still about twice as long as it was just prior to the last recession.

    #9 Most Americans feel as though the Obama administration has done little to nothing to help the middle class.  Just consider the following poll numbers

    According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, Americans see government policies under the Obama administration as having mostly benefited wealthy people, large corporations and financial institutions.

    Seventy-two percent of respondents said government policies have done little or nothing to help the middle class, and 65 percent said they have done nothing to help the poor. Sixty-eight percent said the policies have done nothing to help small businesses.

    Meanwhile, 45 percent said the policies have done a “great deal” to help large banks and financial institutions, 38 percent say they have helped large corporations, and 36 percent say they have helped the wealthy.

    #10 If the unemployment rate was calculated honestly, we would all be talking about the horrific “unemployment crisis” that we were currently enduring.  According to John Williams of, the real unemployment rate in the United States right now is above 23 percent.

    Our politicians and the mainstream media are attempting to convince us that everything is just fine.

    But what they are telling us simply does not match the cold, hard reality on the streets.

    And since the talking heads on television are proclaiming that we are nearly at “full employment”, that just makes millions upon millions of Americans that can’t seem to find work no matter how hard they try feel even worse than they already do.

    If jobs are “easy to get”, then those that are chronically unemployment must have “something wrong” with them.  That is the message that we are being given.  If the mainstream media says that unemployment has gone way down, then anyone that is still unemployed must be really “lazy”, right?

    When you are unemployed for an extended period of time, it can really suck the life right out of you.  It can be really tempting to believe that you are viewed as a failure by your family and friends.  And for the government to lie to us like this just makes things even harder.

    If you are unemployed and can’t find a job right now, I want you to understand that you are caught in the midst of a long-term downward economic spiral which is going to get a lot worse.

    When the government tells you that we are in a “recovery”, they are lying to you.

    And when the government tells you that things are about to get a lot better, they are lying to you.

    Everyone has times in their lives when they get knocked down.

    The key is to always get back up and to never, ever stop fighting.

    Yes, we are facing some really hard economic times.  But that does not mean that your life is over.  Never give up, and never give in to fear.  Just do what you can with what you have today, and tomorrow get up and fight with everything that you have got.

    The truth is that the best chapters of your life could be just around the corner.

    Just don’t sit back and wait for the government to save you.  If you are waiting for the government to save you, then you are going to be deeply disappointed.

    beginning-of-the-end-snyderMichael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

    Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

    If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years read his new book The Beginning of the End.


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      1. I was unemployed for 7 months. Took a job thst pays $2 less thsn the one I hsd. Some recovery.

        • What has beat the tar out of me is geographically
          where is all this full employment located, because
          it sure as hell isn’t anywhere in my area.

        • Got a CNA license, started working in a nursing home last fall. I’m a 60 year old white guy who has been through extended periods of unemployment. I feel like I’m out of my realm, but keep showing up for the shifts. Alot of the younger CNAs call out and I can get all the overtime I want.
          Going to enroll in a CMA class next month; tuition’s reasonable, and I’ll get to pass meds and chart. I’ve had some experience passing meds in previous jobs (group homes).
          I picked up a bachelor’s degree in the early 90s; put it to use in a different field. Didn’t like the work, got out of it, so now I’m working in a nursing home.
          Hey, it’s a paycheck and I have insurance. Looks like I’m getting a raise this month.
          I figure the nursing home jobs can’t be shipped overseas or cut, so there’s some sense of job security.

      2. Im tired of this bullshit,
        Let it crash

        • Agreed

        • Kula, I’m tired of living in a World of Lies, Hype, and Spin!

          In this postmodern society, truth no longer exists in any objective or absolute sense. At best, truth is considered relative. At worst, it’s a matter of …

          When a President can say, it depends what the meaning of is, is and not be removed from office, all is lost. The nation is morally bankrupt. There are consequences to being a morally corrupt/bankrupt people. We are about to find out what those consequences are.

          • justice,
            I most certainly agree with you!

          • My Man you are 110% correct in the most concise comment ever! You are in the 10.

        • Also agreed

        • its going to.

          here locally, in Houston; they have radio ads for programmers to do work for $8 an hour. i realize that’s probably the low end of quality, but considering some get 6 figures plus; when the crash hits; any profession that doesn’t take years of education like engineering; is going to have its wages fall like a rock.

      3. We know the “official” numbers reported by the BLS are bogus.

        “The Center for Immigration Studies reports 100% of employment growth in the U.S. since 2000 went to immigrants.

        On a population adjusted basis, the numbers look horrific. Population-wise, native US citizens account for two-thirds of the working-age population growth, yet FEWER work today.

        Here’s the harsh reality: 17 million working-age native US citizens were NOT working in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000.”
        Global Economic Analysis blogspot dot com

        “One in five U.S. workers was laid off in the past five years and about 22% of those who lost their jobs still haven’t found another one, according to a new survey that showed the extent Americans have struggled in the sluggish labor market…”

        “Nearly 40% said it took more than seven months to find employment and about one in five of laid-off workers said all they could find was a temporary position.
        Almost half — 46% — of the estimated 30 million layoff victims who found new jobs said they paid less than their old ones, according to the survey of 1,153 U.S adults done over the summer.”
        LA Times

        • 1John2:2;
          That is funny. I miss the thumbs.

      4. Empty stores,businesses going under(KMart,Radio Shack)the rest of them not performing to expectations,many more part timers than full timers,lack of benefits/healthcare,prices going up and EBT cards run amuck. Bet the rate is higher than 23.5%. I live in a gated community where many of the people have had to find some employment or are moving out due to higher taxes and HOA fees. My wallet can’t get any emptier. hard to believe we’re doing better than Europe.

        • Hey Jim in VA, you stated that people are “moving out due to higher taxes and HOA fees”; I moved to Western because of that. I expect taxes and home owner fees will be a major problem for people as the economy continues down.

      5. Hell Jim they have to starve all of us out so we have to move out so the fckn Mexicans can move in

        • RMG.

          In a couple of years, if we make it that far, the gated communities will be like my subdivision. Government Supported Housing.

      6. I wonder how big the klan is getting maybe I need to pay my dues

      7. Liars figure


        Figures lie

        Enjoy the day

        Prepare accordingly


      8. That’s right, Uncle Obammie! Keep pissing on my leg and telling me it’s raining……..

      9. obama wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on the ass, he and his minions are such liars, a day of reckoning will come.

      10. Can anyone explain the lack of employment please? Is this locale specific? I think the state I live in has more jobs than people. The industry I live in has way more jobs than people. In fact, in tech, government allows about 172,500 legal temporary workers (H1 visa) and maybe millions of legal visitor workers (L1 visa, but I know one who was in the USA on L1 for 7 years and was just a programmer not managing anyone); so, there must be millions of programmer jobs if American had the skills? Is that the deal? Are Americans just lacking the right skills? I know one relative who does UX work and websites and has won awards but makes $40k no benefits working for some other company doing unrelated work. I think his issue is he just lacks enough experience to move fully into tech. I know his problem is he doesn’t want to move. (wife and 2 young kids). But, seems to me, if you are willing to get educated and to move you can within 6 months to a year make $60k plus and within a few years easily be making just into 6 figures if you are really good. What am I missing? Why can’t Americans find work? (disclaimer, tech workers are expected to work 60 hrs for 40 and to work hard most all of the time unless they work for gooberment or hugecos, yes, getting into those is all but impossible unless you are a bs artist).

        • What I see around the Seattle are is that if someone is already gainfully employed, he/she is worth any compensation package to retain for yourself or poach from someone else. If you are unemployed in this area, there is a reason why. And this rule of thumb is applicable to every employment sector in the region from tech to trades. Unemployed applicants are either full-fledged idiots or they just don’t have the skill sets employers are seeking. I hire employees for many of my clients and the quality of applicants is appalling from among the unemployed. The one thing I am seeing now that I have not seen in the past is that unemployed folks here are not trying to better their skill sets by either returning to school, doing internships, etc. Even if one is on unemployment, one can do voluntary internships, network and get some kind of skill sets and connections going. Part of the problem is that Uncle Sugar makes it too damn easy in this area to get unemployment and stay on it. There is not a big enough incentive for people to adapt and take a crap job until a better one comes along.

          • When I was unemployed here in NC many years ago, you would lose your unemployment if you went to school.

        • I’m a computer programmer and I’m working. Of the 50 programmers at my client(a government agency) I’m the only American.

          It’s NOT that there’s no Americans, it’s that there’s NO Americans willing to work for the same rate people from India will work for. I’m lucky that I’m NOT working for the slave labor rates.

          People like Bill Gates like to talk in front of Congress and push for increasing the number of H1B visas in this country, because he says there’s NO Americans to do the job, NO there’s just NO Americans willing to work for crap wages that companies like Microsoft want to pay.

          The funny part is, at my place in the 9 years I’ve been here, we have averaged around a 30% turn-over rate. Even the ones from India get here and realize they are getting screwed and leave. You’d be surprised how many high-tech people come here from India, get a couple years experience and go back to India for more money.

          If I were starting over, there’s NO way I would go to college for an IT related degree.

      11. Oh yeah, by the way, might be unemployment is too sweet. With over 80 welfare programs, it might be people don’t want to work. I basically live hand-to-mouth in the periods where I am not working two jobs; I can certainly see where if I could get into the welfare systems then I could probably do nearly as well without working (on the books).

      12. Hey I was unemployed once, I think it was from 1980 until 2015, but the Dems have always come through for me, so whats the the problem with Big O. If you don’t like it, you can now move to Cuba, Right Cuz.

        • NGIC:
          Like Ham Chuc told Peterson, “You Funny”
          S.T.S.F.P. N.R. N.S. N.Reb

      13. Full unemployment, no that reads full employment, NUTZ!!!!. I think the unemployment is closer to the truth. They figure if you work 10 hours in a 5 day work week you are employed. Also they do not count the people that have used up all there unemployment benefits. Nor do they count the people that have retired early because of cut backs and forced out.
        This is what TPTB want, so very one has to relay on them for everything.
        We do not have enough job in this country and we still have open borders and legal aliens coming into the USA.
        The only way to get a handle on this is STOP ALL IMMAGRATION into the USA. I mean very body!!!!. For 3 to 5 years. Even if it means putting barbed wire and land mines and machine guns at the borders with a 20 foot solid wall. Only tourist can come and visit but if they over stay their visas they have ever thing that they own taken away from them and kicked out of the country.
        Then we can help our own country men and women get a good education so they will be our doctors and scientist, ECT..
        Plus this way I will know that an American (From the USA) is getting my tax dollars that Uncle Sam keeps stealing from me.
        Near full employment my A$%
        S.T.S.F.P. N.R. N.S. N.Reb

      14. I live in a state that claims 4% unemployment buttttttttttt they also don’t count the piles upon piles of worthless scum on welfare go figure. when two thirds of the state is on some sort of assistance and one third is payin the bill it gets pretty old! butttttttt just look at the numbers you fucking sheeple its all good!!were livin the dream!!!!!!

      15. I guess Capone was pretty much a stand up guy…a little paranoid maybe.

        Looks like one of Scarface’s henchmen patting them down…prolly checkin’ for Tommy guns under them trench coats. Must be the Hawthorne restaurant hideout.

        The guy with the black Fedora looks shady. He’s probably casing the joint.

        Sorry…the article is a bit of a re-hash so I made up my own story.

      16. Just look at – Labor participation rate, unemployment, and disabled enrollment… The numbers speak the truth, not anywhere near full employment…

      17. Unemployment is actually high, or employment low according to how you look at it.

        You can’t tell it from the stock market or the dollar index though, they seem to be setting records for the market and decade or more highs for the dollar.

        The Stock market has more than doubled under Obama and the dollar is currently the strongest currency in the world and getting stronger at a rapid rate.

        ht tp://

        • Thanks Sharon. Welp, that won’t help employment! Since companies can get people much cheaper overseas using their strong dollars. Of course, companies like Apple simply sit on their cash. Huge piles of it. Rather than hire people and expand.

        • ht tp://

      18. western Indiana everything that is available is by temp agency then they do not have to pay any benefits its getting worse every day

        • Nobody really has benefits any more. Even the Fortune 100 companies. They have it but you can buy a better insurance plan yourself on the open market for less. And the 401K has the handcuffs; so, ain’t what its cracked up to be. I have tried to get into gooberment to get the retirement plan; but, guess I’ll be eating rice and beans once I can’t work any more. Everywhere I’ve been the hugeco has canceled their retirement plans. One place a few years back I worked long enough to get vested into 1 month of the retirement plan before it was canceled. LOL.

      19. I know some folks are hurting so I won’t rub it in. Rhode Island has the biggest unemployment rate in the nation. I make more $ now than ever before in my life. Last year I made $56,000. I get free medical for my family. I see people panhandling on every busy street corner. My property taxes are sky high. I deliver freight to businesses in the area. From what I see it’s lack of skills and strict drug testing requirements that people can’t pass. Here there is no point getting skills if your gonna do drugs. So you are in the group of folks that are considered low skill. Most low skill jobs are $8 to 10 an hour under 30 hrs a week. Some people have two jobs to barely make a living. Crime has increased there are smoke shops liquor stores pawn shops and gun shops everywhere. Home invasions and robberies are up. This is what is happening in my neck of the woods. The people who are unemployed are mostly losers that can’t hold a job anyway. This is what I see mostly.

      20. People lose their job due to a company shut down and they never look for work because they are easily discouraged. If your a worker with no degree or certificate or license or any verifiable in demand skills there is no work. If you have skills there is a lot of work I get job offers all the time. Drive a truck it’s a good job you can make quite a bit of $. You can’t do dope in this kind of job. It’s safety sensitive job function. There is Mandatory RANDOM drug testing. So don’t think you can get by you will get caught. Random means they can tell you to go to the clinic and piss in a cup refusing is automatic failure. The DOT cannot have people driving heavy loads around with drugs in their system. Highway safety is the most important thing about driving a truck. It means everything. If you are drug free and alcohol you can make a lot of cash. I’m not gonna say it’s glamorous because it’s not but it isn’t cleaning toilets or doing stupid shit. It’s respectable work and a man can provide for his family. I’m sure there are other industries that are looking for people to train put the pipe down and take life seriously and you will make it. This is my advise to people. If you are a dream chaser you need to get real. Does working sound like a thing anyone wants to do. I can think of better things to do with my time but I need to make a living. GET A REAL JOB.

        • I drove truck for 40 years. You can make clear about $100 per day. Your only allowed 11 hrs on duty time per day. so the equals 10 hrs driving time. You can average 50 miles driving for every hour. so that’s 500 miles per day. 500 miles x .32 cents= $160. yet you have to wait to load & unload buy your meals have layovers and other things that cut into the bottom line. the last truck I drove I got 25% of gross revenues. I made about $40,000 per year. I worked about 60 hours per week.

          • So I was laid off from the oilfield in December and I decided to go back to driving truck I have also looked at other job oppertunities to me driving is the best option the pay is .32 to .50 a mile, that beats what the rest of the jobs are paying which is 8 to 15 an hour and don’t think u will work more than 39 hrs a week

      21. B.S.
        They have lied about this for years and stop figuring it the correct way like they did in the 70’s and 80’s.
        Just ask my wife. she just got her hours cut for 40 hours a week to 20 hours a week. Lost insurance also.

        • The wave of the future, I’m afraid….

      22. During the Great Depression the politicians were shamed by the massive bread lines. Photos of the bread lines were carried by all the newspapers.

        I’m glad that people in need are not embarrassed because EBT cards look and work like credit cards, and they no longer have to stand in bread lines, But the public is in no way aware of the scope of the problem, so let me draw a mental picture!

        America has so many people on food stamps that if you lined them up, they would form a line that goes from New York to Los Angeles and that line would be 7 people wide for half the distance and six wide for the remainder. It is likely you’d be able to see it clearly from space.

        This is how big the problem is

      23. On the news today (Tuesday), government discovers 6.5 million social security numbers illegally in use by people that aren’t supposed to have them. Can you say illegal aliens? That doesn’t count the millions who are using the same SS as someone else. Tax return fraud. Loan fraud. Credit card fraud. They play, you pay.

      24. the Arkansas legislature is today passing a bill that will reduce the number of week,s of benefits a person can draw. The bill also reconfigures the formula used to determine the benefit amount. now don’t be too hard on the legislature. The sheer number of unemployed and shrinking number of employers to robb (tax) to pay for the benefits. That situation of too many takers & too few makers has caused a shortfall. The legislature are just being fiscally responsible. The state has a balanced budget admendment. Also not one penny is deducted from any workers paycheck to pay for unemployment. unemployment is funded by a special tax on the employers payroll.

        • Trust me Old Guy, unemployment taxes come out of workers paycheck, maybe not directly. Work through any temp agency and when the subject of salary comes up, the first thing you’ll hear is, “But don’t forget, we have to also pay for unemployment insurance for you”.

          The government may not take it from you, but your employer is figuring it in.

          It’s like people who rent and say, “At least I don’t have to pay property taxes, that’s the landlords responsiblility”.

          • yes its a part of the employers cost of doing business just the same as workmens comp, matching the social security witholdings. The fact is there is more labor than demand. and any business who overpays for labor will soon be out of business. like it or not a employee is a tool to be used to get a job done. and a prudent employer uses that tool to his best advantage. However you try and justify it. Unemployment is welfare or dole. Money you did not work for. Unemployment comp is social engineering its parasitic for the employer. I once had two employees. They where paid $10 per hour back in 1980. It cost me another $5 per hour for the government red tape. at the end of the week even when I didn’t make any profit. that paycheck had to be there. They worked less hours and made more then I did. Once when I was gone from the business to make a delivery. My truck broke down. I caught a ride back to the shop. They where out back instead of working. they didn’t know I was there. I heard them talking about how sorry the job was and they weren’t being paid enough. about what a asshole I was ect. Man I wanted to fire them right them. I bit my tounge. I quit taking in jobs. and cut their hours little by little. after 6 months I had their base wages low enough. So I laid them off. I found out how much unemployment they where drawing. They where allowed to make 140% of that amount before their check amount was zero. So I called them back to work and worked them just enough that they couldn’t draw any unemployment. One quit in a couple of weeks. It took the other about 4 months before he finally got his belly full. When the quit they could no longer draw unemployment. Man what a relief no employees to babysit and bite my tougne to keep from losing my cool. Ill never have any employees ever again. From then on I only used bonified self employed workers who had proper paperwork. If being a employer is so great why don’t you start a business and hire some employees?

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