US Unemployment

Donald Trump says we shouldn’t believe US unemployment rates  is 5%.  He says the unemployment rate is really  around 20%.  The average investor knows 20%  is very evident with massive foreclosures and businesses closing up. The stock market is destroyed by even 10% unemployment.

The highest level of unemployment in the last 67 years has been 10.8% during Reagan’s administration. Many economic events occurring during Nixon and Carter’s administrations, likely contributed to this high rate.  Oil prices tend to go down with unemployment.  In the last 4 months, oil prices have been slowly moving up even with an oversupply situation.

Trump is quoted as saying:

The official jobless figure is “statistically devised to make politicians — and in particular presidents — look good.”

Unemployment rates are determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They have been estimating unemployment on a monthly basis since 1948.  Now, with the internet, you can get all the BLS   monthly estimates from 1948:

Unemployment Rates

The unemployment estimates are done by career government employees with the objective of obtaining the best estimate of unemployment in the country.  A 5% unemployment rate sounds good, unless you live in a neighborhood where most of your neighbors are unemployed.  The 5% unemployment is a nationwide value,  and there are large variations depending on age and trade or educational skills.

There are other measures of  unemployment statistics calculated by the BLS.  The BLS has a budget of 618 million dollars and has 2,500 employees.

The BLS data are used by economists and financial analysts around the world. In  addition to the unemployment rate, they provide estimates of the Payroll Employment,  Consumer Price Index (CPI), Producer Price Index (PPI),   Productivity,  US Import Index  and US Export Index.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

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