Gallup CEO Calls Unemployment Rate ‘Big Lie’

Unemployment line / AP
• February 3, 2015 3:42 pm

Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, published an op-ed detailing his objections to the way the Federal Government calculates the unemployment rate today. The polling CEO said the official unemployment rate does a poor job presenting a comprehensive picture of what the workforce looks like.

"The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading," Clifton said.

"If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job–if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks–the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed," Clifton said. "That's right."

"While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news–currently 5.6 percent."

Clifton said as many as 30 million Americans most wouldn't consider employed are not counted in the official statistic. In addition to those who've given up looking for work, he points out that those who are working part time but want full time employment are not considered unemployed under the official measure.

"There's no other way to say this," he said. "The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a big lie."