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NEW YORK – On the eve of Labor Day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported alarming unemployment figures that are reaching the most desperate levels since the Department of Labor began collecting the data during the Truman administration three years after the end of World War II.
On Aug. 2, the BLS reported nearly 90 million Americans were not currently in the labor force in July, with the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population not in the labor force now registered at 36 percent.
For men, the BLS reported labor force participation rate of 63.5 percent for August is the lowest figure recorded since the Labor Department began collecting the data in 1948.
Earlier this month, WND reported that according to John Williams, an economist known for arguing the government reports manipulated “shadow statistics” of economic data for political purposes, the real unemployment rate for July was 23.3 percent, not the 7.4 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By including in the calculation of the unemployment rate those who the BLS classifies as “not currently in the labor force” because of their long-term unemployment, the true unemployment rate could be more than three-times the unemployment rate the BLS publicly declares.
An economy of part-time jobs
WND also reported this month that under the Obama administration, the U.S. is rapidly transforming into a nation of part-time employment. Seven out of eight jobs created during Obama’s more than four years as president have been part-time jobs.
The House Ways and Means Committee reported Aug. 5 that approximately 88 percent of the jobs created under President Obama have been part-time jobs.
“The reality, as you dig into the latest jobs data, reveals that few are finding the full-time work they want and need, and many are forced to accept part-time employment,” the committee said. The BLS statistics show that under Obama, 1,882,000 part-time jobs have been created, compared to only 270,000 full-time jobs created between January 2009 and July 2013.
On Aug. 21, Reuters reported that three out of four of the nearly 1 million jobs created in 2013 are part-time, with many of the jobs low-paid, a phenomenon Reuters attributed to an unanticipated adverse economic impact of Obamacare.
“Faltering economic growth at home and abroad and concern that President Barack Obama’s signature health care law will drive up business costs are behind the wariness about taking on full-time staff, executives at staffing and payroll firms say,” Reuters reported.
“Employers say part-timers offer them flexibility. If the economy picks up, they can quickly offer full-time work. If orders dry up, they know costs are under control. It also helps them curb costs they might face under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.”
Reuters noted the growing tendency to create part-time jobs instead of full-time jobs causes a vicious cycle in which the new employees who tend to be hired in retail businesses and food services do not have the disposable income to drive demand for goods and services in the economy as a whole.
The crisis in youth and minority employment
The BLS has also reported that unemployment among youth 16 to 24 years old has reached an alarming number, with the share of young people unemployed in July totaling nearly 50 percent.
Still, the BLS reported the youth unemployment rate as only 16.3 percent, a result the BLS was able to calculate after determining the labor force participation for youth males was only 62.7 percent, with the rate for women at 58.2 percent, a 20-point decline from the 1980s, when youth labor force participation was regularly measured at 80 percent or more.
Among minorities, the employment situation is even more desperate.
While the BLS reported a 7.4 percent unemployment rate in July, the reported unemployment rate in July for African-Americans was 12.6 percent, while youth unemployment was 28.2 percent.