- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jim Clifton, the CEO and chairman of Gallup research and polling, said the White House is putting forward a false narrative and positive spin on recent unemployment rate numbers — that it’s all a “big lie.”

Mr. Clifton said Wall Street and the media are furthering the lie, also, Fox News reported. What’s the false narrative?

He said in his blog that the Labor Department, which just touted a 5.6 percent unemployment rate — the lowest since June 2008 — is omitting Americans who quit their job searches after four weeks. But that’s wrong, he said.

Americans out of work for four weeks are “as unemployed as one can possibly be,” and there are up to 30 million who now fit that category — who aren’t counted in the Labor surveys, he said, Fox News reported.

He also said the “severely underemployed,” or those who work part-time but want full-time, aren’t counted by the Labor Department, either.

Mr. Clifton said the “cheerleading” for the 5.6 percent is “deafening,” and that it’s due to joint efforts of the media, Wall Street and the White House.

“The media loves a comeback story,” he wrote. “The White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.”

So what’s going on?

“There’s no other way to say this,” Mr. Clifton said, Fox News reported. “The official unemployment rate … amounts to a big lie. … When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t ‘feeling’ something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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