The Real Economic Numbers: 21.5 Percent Unemployment, 10 Percent Inflation And Negative Economic Growth

by | Jun 13, 2018 | Headline News | 21 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This report was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse

    Every time the mainstream media touts some “wonderful new economic numbers” I just want to cringe.  Yes, it is true that the economic numbers have gotten slightly better since Donald Trump entered the White House, but the rosy economic picture that the mainstream media is constantly painting for all of us is completely absurd.  As you are about to see, if honest numbers were being used all of our major economic numbers would be absolutely terrible.  Of course we can hope for a major economic turnaround for America under Donald Trump, but we certainly are not there yet.  Economist John Williams of has been tracking what our key economic numbers would look like if honest numbers were being used for many years, and he has gained a sterling reputation for being accurate.  And according to him, it looks like the U.S. economy has been in a recession and/or depression for a very long time.

    Let’s start by talking about unemployment.  We are being told that the unemployment rate in the United States is currently “3.8 percent”, which would be the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”.

    To support this claim, the mainstream media endlessly runs articles declaring how wonderful everything is.  For example, the following is from a recent New York Times article entitled “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are”

    The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately.

    So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low.

    Doesn’t that sound great?

    It would be great, if the numbers that they were using were honest.

    The truth, of course, is that the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession.  According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

    So what is the reason for the gaping disparity?

    As I have explained repeatedly, the government has simply been moving people from the “officially unemployed” category to the “not in the labor force” category for many, many years.

    If we use the government’s own numbers, there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  That is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

    We are being conned.  I have a friend down in south Idaho that is a highly trained software engineer that has been out of work for two years.

    If the unemployment rate is really “3.8 percent”, why can’t he find a decent job?

    By the way, if you live in the Boise area and you know of an opening for a quality software engineer, please let me know and I will get the information to him.

    Next, let’s talk about inflation.

    According to Williams, the way inflation has been calculated in this country has been repeatedly changed over the decades

    Williams argues that U.S. statistical agencies overestimate GDP data by underestimating the inflation deflator they use in the calculation.

    Manipulating the inflation rate, Williams argues in Public Comment on Inflation Measurement , also enables the US government to pay out pensioners less than they were promised, by fudging cost of living adjustments.

    This manipulation has ironically taken place quite openly over decades, as successive Republican and Democratic administrations made “improvements” in the way they calculated the data.

    If inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1990, the inflation rate would be 6 percent today instead of about 3 percent.

    And if inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1980, the inflation rate would be about 10 percent today.

    Doesn’t that “feel” more accurate to you?  We have all seen how prices for housing, food and health care have soared in recent years.  After examining what has happened in your own life, do you believe that the official inflation rates of “2 percent” and “3 percent” that we have been given in recent years are anywhere near accurate?

    Because inflation is massively understated, that has a tremendous effect on our GDP numbers as well.

    If accurate inflation numbers were being used, we would still be in a recession right now.

    In fact, John Williams insists that we would still be in a recession that started back in 2004.

    And without a doubt, a whole host of other more independent indicators point in that direction too.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Peter Diekmeyer

    Williams’ findings, while controversial, corroborate a variety of other data points. Median wage gains have been stagnant for decades. The U.S. labour force participation rate remains at multi-decade lows. Even our own light-hearted Big Mac deflator suggests that the U.S. economy is in a depression.

    Another clue is to evaluate the U.S. economy just as economists would a third world nation whose data they don’t trust. They do this by resorting to figures that are hard to fudge.

    There, too, by a variety of measures—ranging from petroleum consumption to consumer goods production to the Cass Freight Index—the U.S. economy appears to have not grown much, if at all, since the turn of the millennium.

    In the end, all that any of us really need to do is to just open our eyes and look at what is happening all around us.  We are on pace for the worst year for retail store closings in American history, and this “retail apocalypse” is hitting rural areas harder than anywhere else

    This city’s Target store is gone.

    So is Kmart, MC Sports, JCPenney, Vanity and soon Herberger’s, a department store.

    “The mall is pretty sad,” says Amanda Cain, a teacher and mother. “Once Herberger’s closes, we’ll have no anchors.”

    About two-thirds of Ottumwa’s Quincy Place Mall will be empty with Herberger’s loss.

    Of course it isn’t just the U.S. economy that is troubled either.

    We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in global history, many nations around the globe are already experiencing a very deep economic downturn, and our planet is literally in the process of dying.

    So please don’t believe the hype.

    Yes, we definitely hope that things will get better, but the truth is that things have not been “good” for the U.S. economy for a very, very long time.


    Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

    GetPreparedNow-MichaelSnyderBarbaraFixMichael 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 is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book [amazon text=Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming & How You Can Survive It&asin=150522599X].


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      1. Michael Snyder, another good article. Jobs have supposedly been getting created since Trump first came in but I’d like to know where. Not in my part of the country. Unemployment rate in my city has more likely gone up instead of down because I get approached by more homeless than I used to. So now I just have to tell more bums to f#$% off than I used to. Just more bums with drinking and drug problems that don’t want what we consider to be a normal life. I just don’t see America becoming great again. Sorry to bust anyone’s bubble but that’s just me.

        • The days of working for someone else to prosper has long since disappeared and that was never a way to rise above “middle class”. The systematic dismantling of the American Means of Production by the Uber Rich and the transfer of those factories and jobs offshore shattered that illusion.

          In a corporate world, with the tax incentives fashioned to benefit corporations, you need a corporation to thrive. Anyone here remember when you could write the cost of interest off your taxes as an individual when financing a new car or truck ???

          As a corporation you can still write off the interest costs of a vehicle purchase against other income … AND … the cost of the vehicle itself !!!

          Just one example of how you must work smarter, not harder, to succeed and prosper; and you cannot beat the PTB/Uber Rich …. you must emulate them if only on a limited basis. 🙂

          • Finally a President that’s imposing a tariff thats fair! I believe this will in time stabilize the economy. In 2008 when the crisis hit we should have never bailed out the banks let it all collapse on it self and start from the bottom and the nature of economics would have healed itself.

          • That’s what’s so good about trucking. Good times or bad, we’re always rollin. Sometimes it gets slow but recession or expansion, I ain’t stopped in 32 years. I wanted to be an engineer or math teacher but I got a job driving truck while I was taking college courses, I liked it so much, I stopped goin to school. Well never be more than “middle class” but there’s nothin wrong with that. We live pretty well, got some money saved, got some nice stuff. It’s a good life for real. As far as these numbers go, let’s not forget who changed the unemployment calculations, Obama’s did. So trumped actually inherited a much worse situation than what we were led to believe. But it’s gettin better. If the current unemployment rate is actually 21%, what was it really at when Obama left? I always knew it was worse that they were saying but it’s gettin better, give it some time. That mess that the previous administration left us with cannot be fixed overnight. But it’s gonna get fixed.
            Stay quiet Be smart

      2. “I hate to be the pessimist here, but even if Trump and his Mighty Deplorables can divert sideways from the forthcoming iceberg, the greater mass beneath the surface is far too vast; and we’re traveling too fast. Like the RMS Titanic, and those who once clawed on the exterior of Noah’s Ark in the pounding rain, America will soon sink to the ocean floor under waves raging over and upon the Sea of History. The laws of nature, like physics, will not be denied. It is a matter of mathematical certainty and the manifestation of time.”
        -Doug Lynn

      3. Paved paradise and put up a massive shithole of gougers from plastic polluted sea to radioactive oil sheen shining sea. Of course government numbers are total lies, without lies there would nothing to say. Food prices another hike upwards to border on shocking, even glyphosate laden frankenfood. I guess the corporate tax cuts were only a drop in the bucket for the insatiable moneygrubbing thieves. Pop go the weasels. All this BS, I’m surprised the people are not out in the streets by the millions to force their issues. The response by the capitalists, a beatdown would bring more out to protest. Use your voice publicly or suffer the continuing decline. The time is now or never. The people’s lives are vastly more important than profits.

      4. The sad reality is many peep actually believe these numbers to be correct. The founders of this once great country are rolling over in their grave….collectively, we have no ‘stones’ to say BS! Factor health care, fuel and food into the inflation numbers! Are you …….. kidding me? Any and all contact with your legislators ……… falls on deaf ears, or they send you the form letter indicating the identical false information. We should be on the Capitol grounds in every state and DC …… demanding the truth. Pathetic. Sad.

      5. “By the way, if you live in the Boise area and you know of an opening for a quality software engineer, please let me know and I will get the information to him.”
        I’m a retired engineer( at age 55) with the correct degrees and experience.
        I looked for work(including Boise) until age 60 and gave up. They only want to hire kids. Having been on several employee interview teams I can say that they always worry about age, but don’t “Officially” consider that. Most old technical people are too independent for young micro managers.
        If I do work it is only as a Consultant which is fine with me.

        • I sure understand. I did a quick check on Indeed, etc. for SW engineers and there are several hundred.

          I know from experience in the DC are that these jobs usually pay low so kids will jump at them. Also (having been in the tech arena), you must continually reinvent yourself with classes, join professional organizations, and more. It’s nearly another job to hold on to one or move up the corporate ladder. Doing gov contract work is no safety net since the small businesses will change the rules and/or your salary in a heartbeat and there is no way to fight back. (Had that happen to me.) The tech world is a dog eat dog world.

      6. There is always a “job” if you want one.

        Winners pave a way for themselves. I have seen great singer/musicians open the cover of their instrument on a street corner and sing their heart out. That’s a respectable job.

        I’ve been waited on by phd’s in a restaurant who currently are also college professors (a less respectable job) but it pays the rent.

        The difference between people who work and people who take up drink or drugs, blow out their brains, or some other act of desperation, is that those who work have respect for all work. They aren’t stuck up.

        And I’ve yet to see one of the workers fail in the long run.


        • Phd slinging coffee after dissertation done? Overqualified. Not a good return on investment for the degree. You do what it takes to survive, but you can still acknowledge reality. The job market sucks.

      7. How many people are independent of welfare, whether social or corporate, and out of debt, whether in terms of consumer debt, or to run a business.

        If you made people cooperate in a meritocracy, I think you would have an emergency, on your hands.

      8. When Peter Schiff is sitting on a sidewalk with a “I’ll Work for Food” sign, the sh*t will really have hit the fan! He’ll be able to say “I was right!”. The economic numbers really are totally misleading. If Obama was still in office, I would be accused of being racist for saying this. Trump is in office and the numbers are looking better, so it is the Democrats who are saying this. You can’t make this stuff up! The world is getting crazier and crazier!

      9. Finally a President imposing a fair and square tariff tax.Hey Canada need tissue ? That will in time Stabilize the economy. And if the banks fail let the economy correct itself.No more bailouts. The working class is too small to fail again!

      10. I have said for years. How can there be so many people not working and the unemployment rate be so low. I am not sure of the US population now. Lets say it is 350,000,000. 100,000,000 out of the work force. Then subtract those under 18, college kids, the elderly and retired. Also subtract those currently claiming disability.
        Now tell me the unemployment rate is 3.8. We all can see cost of everything rising but inflation is supposedly 2 percent or less for years.
        Give me a break.
        The economy is what caused me to start prepping in the first place.

        Prepping has already come in handy after big storms and one large traffic jam that my kids were in.
        Keep stacking.

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      12. Here in NW FL., Santa Rosa County,It seems that we are going through a boom.Looks like the Pensacola area is booming also.New houses are going up daily,new businesses are springing up out of nowhere,traffic has gotten 10 times worse on US 90,lots of out of state cars,true this is a military area and it is tourist season but a good bit of them are new residents.Makes me wonder if this is good or not so good.The crime rate is going up,mostly due to drugs according to the, what I call the (rouges gallery)arrest pictures, published in the Santa Rosa County news paper each week.Also it seems that there is no or very little traffic enforcement anymore,I think the cops have given up,like they have in Dade County(Miami). The people moving here from who knows where, are bringing their bad driving habits with them. Speeding, turning right on red without stopping,not stopping at stop signs,and passing on double yellow lines all the while no cop cars are on the road or they’re parked under a shade tree while the speeders zoom by.I also expect we will soon be having the same water shortage problems that South Florida is experiencing since this is a big farming area and they use a lot of water on the crops.With all the new homes bing built our little water company won’t be able to keep up.We have trouble getting Doctors appointments now where 6 months ago it was no problem also the Hospitals are full,and lots of out of state license plates in the parking lot, adding to the parking problem.My wife tells me to stop complaining,she calls it progress,I call it a real problem.

      13. Article everyday like this…almost like they’re trying to convince us the sky is falling…

      14. What they’re claiming is the number of people receiving unemployment is low. They’re not actually saying the number of unemployed is at that low number. If you never had a job since you got out of school, you are not considered unemployed. If your unemployment ran out, you are no longer considered unemployed. If you gave up looking for a job, they don’t consider you unemployed. Tricky, the way they do that numbers thing.

      15. another great piece, michael. i love how you always back up what you say with links to FACTS. things are getting worser and worser. those interest rates that HAVE to go up, sooner or later, are going to be our death-knell. when the value of your house falls in HALF, then y’all will HAVE to believe in him.

      16. remember, o changed how these numbers were put together. the dems are now stuck with their own flawed system, witch works in trumps favor.

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