“Shadow Statistics”: US Government’s Fudging the Numbers on Unemployment, GDP and Inflation – Global Research


28-08-19 02:38:00,

John Williams has worked as a consulting economist since getting his BA and MA from Dartmouth college in New Hampshire in 1972. He now lives in California – these paragraphs are from his biography:

One of my early clients was a large manufacturer of commercial airplanes, who had developed an econometric model for predicting revenue passenger miles. The level of revenue passenger miles was their primary sales forecasting tool, and the model was heavily dependent on the GNP (now called the GDP) as reported by the Department of Commerce.  Suddenly, their model stopped working, and they asked me if I could fix it. I realized the GNP numbers were faulty, corrected them for my client…and the model worked again, at least for a while, until GNP methodological changes eventually made the underlying data worthless.

For a number of years I conducted surveys among business economists as to the quality of government statistics (the vast majority thought it was pretty bad), and my results led to front page stories in 1989 in the New York Times and Investors Daily (now Investors Business Daily). 

In 2004 he started Shadow Statistics and runs a blog with updates on what he calculates to be the real U.S. government statistics, you can subscribe for $175 a year. The government keeps statistics on many things; Williams focuses on only a few; unemployment, Gross Domestic Product, inflation, the value of the dollar and the money supply.

You may ask why the government would fudge the numbers. Williams found that between 1997 and 1999 the government understated inflation and as a result inflation indexed payments for social security didn’t escalate as they should have and the government saved millions. The effect is the same in many contracts where payments are inflation indexed; between retired people and pension funds, between corporations and labour unions. Lower inflation rates, real or fictitious, save many corporations money.

On his web site you can check what he says are the correct figures today; unemployment in the United States, which the government says is under 5%, he says is about 22%.  One reason for the big difference is that since the ‘60’s the government no longer counts as unemployed those who could not find work.

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More Fake News and US Statistics About Payroll Jobs. The Trend Towards Part-Time Employment – Global Research


05-08-19 02:16:00,

Yesterday’s column referred to a  “falling labor force participation rate.”  

One of the main points of the article is that the number of payroll jobs are not the same thing as the number of employed Americans.  Jobs have been trending toward part-time as this allows employers to avoid benefit costs.  In order to make ends meet, many Americans work two or more part-time jobs.  Therefore, the announcement on Friday of 148,000 new jobs does not mean 148,000 more employed Americans.

There is another problem with the payroll jobs.  Although the figure is nonfarm and does not include imported agricultural labor, it does include immigrants on work visas, such as H-1B and L-1 visas.  This means that job gains in information technology and software engineering, for example, might be job gains for immigrants on work visas and not for American citizens.  

As the payroll jobs number reflects reported information on payroll taxes and unemployment insurance, citizens and immigrants are lumped together.  The percentage of new jobs taken by immigrants on work visas is not broken out. 

The household survey number, however, does estimate the numbers of foreign-born and American-born employees, but it does not specify the legal status of the foreign-born, that is, whether they are naturalized citizens, green card holders, or immigrants on work visas. The household survey numbers are interesting. There are 27.1 million foreign-born employees with jobs in the US and 131.2 million native-born American employees.  That the number of foreign-born employees is as large as 20 percent of American-born employees reflects either a high rate of immigration or a large number of foreign workers issued work visas.  

In response to yesterday’s column, a reader wrote that he had seen a report last Thursday that the House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow unlimited numbers of people from India and China to be granted work visas for US programming jobs.  The reader concludes that his job will soon be history and he will disappear into the ranks of the uncounted American unemployed.

When it happens to them, Americans finally understand, regardless of the controlled explanations of The Matrix in which they live, that their government does not ever represent them.  It represents profits—the profits of companies that produce profits by lobbying and legislating against Americans.  

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