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Tags: Zuckerman | jobless | unemployment | work

Zuckerman: Don’t Fall for 8.1% Rate, Real Jobless Number Near 19%

Saturday, 08 September 2012 04:08 PM EDT

Mort Zuckerman, the New York publisher and real estate magnate, says the slight decline in the national jobless rate masks an underlying, more serious problem — Americans are giving up in droves.

“Don't be fooled by the headline unemployment number of 8.1 percent announced on Friday,” he wrote in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal. “The reason the number dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July was not because more jobs were created, but because more people quit looking for work.”

The economy added 96,000 jobs in the latest government report, a far weaker number than analysts had expected. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, 5 million people are long-term unemployed and another 8 million people who want full-time work have settled for part-time.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

On top of that, 2.6 million more are available but have stopped looking for a job. The 96,000 net jobs added compares to an average of 139,000 monthly in 2012 and an average of 153,000 the year before, according to BLS.

“We are still almost 5 million payrolls shy of where we were at the end of 2007, when the recession began. Think about that when you hear the Obama administration's talk of an economic recovery,” Zuckerman wrote.

If you add up all the underemployed and discouraged workers, the real unemployment rate is closer to 19 percent, Zuckerman charges.

“For all our other national concerns, and the red herrings that typically swim in electoral waters, American voters refuse to be distracted from the No. 1 issue: the economy. And even many of those who have jobs are hurting, because annual wage increases have dropped to an average of 1.6 percent, the lowest in the past 30 years. Adjusting for inflation, wages are contracting,” Zuckerman argued.

Americans who still have jobs get it, he wrote. They are extremely wary of the economy going forward.

“The best single indicator of how confident workers are about their jobs is reflected in how they cling to them. The so-called quit rate has sagged to the lowest in years,” Zuckerman wrote.

No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has won reelection with unemployment above 8 percent, the Associated Press pointed out in a recent article.

The weak jobs number may be favor in several swing states where the jobless rate is worse than the total for the country. In Nevada, it’s at 12 percent, North Carolina 9.6 percent, Michigan 9 percent and Colorado 8.3 percent, according to the AP.

The Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll on Sept. 8 showed Obama attracting support from 46 percent of voters nationwide, while Romney earns 44 percent of the vote.

Four percent prefer some other candidate, and 5 percent are undecided, according to Rasmussen.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

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Saturday, 08 September 2012 04:08 PM
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