Last Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report of 215,000 new jobs in July with its attendant announcement of an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent drew mostly yawns from the media. That wasn’t the case on February 3 of this year when Jim Clifton, CEO of the polling company, Gallup, wrote a stunning opinion piece on the company’s web site calling the U.S. unemployment rate “The Big Lie.” Clifton raised more media frenzy the next day when he appeared on CNBC and suggested he might “disappear” for questioning the government’s unemployment rate.
Back then, the official unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. Today it’s 5.3 percent – a very healthy looking rate for an economy that is supposedly on the rebound.
One of the bogus aspects raised by Clifton in his opinion piece about how the U.S. government calculates the unemployment rate was this: