US Jobs Creation Reality

US Border Wall Madness
January 5, 2019
Hostile US Legislation Targets China
January 6, 2019

US Jobs Creation Reality

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Things aren’t as they seem. Government data are manipulated. Highlighted headline numbers are more likely fiction, not factual, revisions largely ignored.

Protracted main street Depression affecting ordinary Americans is suppressed, privileged interests alone enjoying prosperity.

Monthly Labor Department reports conceal the true state of the nation’s job market. Despite the headlined number (subject to revisions, including months after the fact), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admits that “(t)he confidence level for the monthly change in total employment is on the order of plus or minus” hundreds of thousands of jobs.

With this level of accuracy, why report data lacking credibility. Season adjustments further affect the numbers.

Millions of discouraged workers are excluded from monthly reports, treated as nonpersons, individuals wanting work, giving up after failing to find it.

Reports give short shrift to the difference between part-time or temp jobs, paying poverty or sub-poverty wages with few or no benefits v. high-paying jobs with good benefits – the way things were before much of America’s industrial base and other good jobs were offshored to low wage countries.

The Labor Department’s so-called “birth-death model,” estimating net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from others no longer operating, is a convenient way to add jobs that may not exist.

The BLS assumes workers from non-operating companies are employed elsewhere. From 30 – 50,000 more jobs are added monthly, assuming new business creations whether or not they exist.

The sub-4% unemployment rate is pure fiction. True unemployment is 21.3%, according to economist John Williams, reengineering the number based on how it was calculated in the 1980s – before numbers were manipulated lower to create the illusion greater jobs creation, low unemployment, and prosperity than exist.

Media play along, reporting the official narrative the way they always do, deceiving people instead of informing them. 

According to Williams, “(i)ntense labor-market stress remained consistent with headline unemployment near a record high, not a record low,” as falsely reported by the BLS and major media.

Daily volatility aside, Williams believes equity selling just began, rising gold prices a portent of “extreme political and financial-market turmoil and systemic instability.”

Neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post economic columnist Jared Bernstein sees everything coming up roses, saying:

“The big new (in) the jobs market (is that) numbers came in a lot stronger than expected,” adding “unemployment (in 2018) averaged less than 4 percent” – a myth discussed above.

Paul Craig Roberts called the Friday BLS report “another fiction,” debunking the headlined number of jobs created.

Whatever the true number, their makeup is most telling, overwhelmingly consisting of rotten low-pay part-time or temp jobs – the types most households need two or three of to get by.

The holiday season likely increased the number of retail and related jobs. Over a third reported were leisure and hospitality industry ones – waiters, waitresses, bus boys, housekeepers, you get the picture, rotten jobs people deplore but take for lack of better ones.

Most jobs created every month are low-pay, poor-or-no-benefits ones, mostly part-time or temp ones – what major media suppress instead of headlining.

When I received my MBA in 1960, good jobs were plentiful for individuals with my training and background, despite a less than robust economy at the time.

It’s a whole different story today. Affordable higher education I enjoyed in the 1950s no longer exists – nor the kinds of employment opportunities I and other grads enjoyed.

Roberts: “In December 400 (MBAs) were hired for management of companies and enterprises. What about lawyers? Employment in legal services declined by 600 jobs.” 

“1,400 people found jobs in architectural and engineering services. 2,200 in computer systems design and related services. These job categories accounted for 1% of the new jobs.”

That’s today’s reality, the abysmal state of career opportunities for US college and higher education grads.

It’s not a pretty picture. It’s highly unlikely to improve, not as long as Republicans and undemocratic Dems push neoliberal harshness, harming the vast majority of Americans so the nation’s privileged few can benefit at their expense.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.