Sunday, February 19, 2012 – 11:30 a.m.

So the U.S. Department of Labor says the national unemployment rate is 8.3%.

A huge drop-off from its high.

But is the number really accurate.

The answer: Probably not.

The real ‘underemployment rate’ according to the Gallup Organization’s ‘unadjusted’ number is 19.0%.

Gallup’s ‘unemployment’ rate is sitting at 9.0% in mid-February.

The figure includes all persons drawing unemployment benefits, having exhausted benefits, working part-time, and those who have given up looking.

The government ‘seasonally adjusted’ numbers appear to be grossly manipulated by reducing the number of people estimated to be in the active workforce.

The Labor Department has been steadily reducing the size of the workforce for several months now to the tune of millions.

Even though the country’s population continues to increase.

The political spin continues to focus on the ‘adjusted’ new and continuing claims for unemployment benefits.

A highly dubious number since more people are exhausting benefits and are ineligible to re-file a new claim.

Thus the growing disparity between the unemployment and underemployment rate.

The question out there should be is the situation really improving?