The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Smoke and Mirrors I:
Unemployment Rate

Mar 17, 2008

The media across the country reported that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.8% in February, down from 4.9% in January.


More and more people are out of work. So how can the unemployment rate be down?

The Labor Department can pull this rabbit out of their hat because the unemployment rate doesn’t measure all those who are not employed. It only measures those who are actively looking for a job. And last month, 450,000 people just left the work force, many so discouraged that they stopped looking for work. So poof! The government’s unemployment rate is down.

For men between 25 and 54, the unemployment rate is 4%. But the number who don’t have a job? Almost 13%!

So the economy is doing well–if you pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!