Well, sort of . . .
The Government’s statistics on unemployment were not likely “fixed” at the behest of the Chicago boys but, nevertheless, are most assuredly not accurate. Twice during the last 30 years the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has adjusted its formula for the computation of employment stats. Remember the Great Reagan prosperity? Well, it didn’t really happen but was rather the result of changing the calculation of unemployment so that certain unemployed persons no longer counted. Voila, prosperity. It was adjusted again under Clinton and with the same effect: more unemployed were dropped.
If the BLS would use the same methods used in the 1930s, the unemployment rate would be about 25% today. No, the Second Depression is NOT over and we are NOT in recovery. But things are a tad bit better than in 2009 especially for the stockjobbers and coupon-clippers. The stock market soars and the 1% are bringing a little more money back from their accounts in the Caymans but Mr and Mrs Working America are still struggling with their backs to the wall.
You will find below a chart prepared by SHADOWSTATS, an alternative information source, the red line indicates the official unemployment rate and the blue line the alternative estimate based on more accurate enumeration.
SHADOWSTATS: “The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.