Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 – 11:04 PM
By Cathy Burke

The 5.6 percent unemployment rate being trumpeted by the White House, Wall Street and the media is a “big lie,” the head of the Gallup polling firm says.

“None of them will tell you this: 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,” the venerable firm’s chief executive officer and chairman Jim Clinton, writes in his blog.

“Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast ‘falling’ unemployment.”

President Barack Obama hailed the 5.6 percent unemployment figure from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the lowest since June 2008.

“Our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999,” Obama said in his State of the Union address Jan. 20. “Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.”

But Clifton writes Americans out of work for at least four weeks are “as unemployed as one can possibly be” and argues that as many as 30 million of them are now either out of work or severely underemployed.

In addition, those working part time but wanting full-time work – the so-called “severely underemployed” – also aren’t counted in the latest low number.

“There’s no other way to say this,” he writes.

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