Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has an Orwellian ring to it. I guess it should stand for “Bureau of Lying Statistics.” A quick glance at today’s non-farm payroll report suggests that the economy likely lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in May. The headline 138k number was well below Wall St’s consensus estimate and below even the lowest estimate (140k).
The highly deceitful “Birth/Death” model gave the BLS 238k “newly created” jobs from alleged new business formation in excess of jobs lost from failed businesses in May. This number is shown before it’s sent through the BLS’ “X‑13ARIMA‑SEATS software developed by the U.S. Census Bureau.” No one knows exactly how that statistical sausage grinder produces the alleged jobs added and lost by new business formation – not even the Census Bureau. Then that number is blended into the overall headline number.
In truth, it’s quite likely that the U.S. economy lost jobs in May. A report showing less working age people employed would be a better fit with the state of the economy as reflected by private-sector reports, such as retail sales and construction/capital formation spending. The BLS covers up this fact by “finding” a large number of “new” part-time jobs to offset the loss of 367,000 full-time jobs.
And for its coup de grace, the BLS reports that 608,000 people in the working age population decide to stop looking for a job, for whatever reason, and quit working. They are no longer considered to be part of the labor force. This concept makes absolutely no sense when privately-generated surveys show that less than 50% of all households do not have the ability to write a check for $500 in the event of an emergency. Perhaps 608,000 people just decided that they were tired of buying food and paying bills and quit working altogether.
Regardless of how you want to slice and dice the phony numbers, the “labor force participation rate” fell to 62.7% of the working age population. This means that 37.3% of the entire U.S. population between the ages of 15 and 64 decided that they couldn’t be bothered with working or looking for a job. That metric alone completely invalidates anything the BLS reports about the U.S. “employment situation.” Perhaps a better title for the monthly report would be “The Government’s Interpretation of U.S. Employment.”