Don’t Believe Those Phony Trump Unemployment Numbers

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What’s the real unemployment rate?

April’s 14.7 percent unemployment rate, announced by the Labor Department last Friday, is awful by any standard. The official tally shows that unemployment increased by 15,938,000 people last month—to 23,078,000 overall—resulting in the highest jobless rate since the Great Depression. As depressing as that may be, it’s not the full story. The Labor Department also reported Friday that the number of employed Americans fell by 22,369,000 people in April. If you reconcile the gap between 22,369,000 and 15,938,000, you’ll find that the real unemployment rate is much worse. The actual unemployment rate for April was at least 18.6 percent.

You can click the link to read all the gruesome details, which I frankly don’t care about. We know what we’ve done to the economy, and the precise numbers don’t matter all that much.

However, after having to endure the 2016 campaign and Donald Trump’s endless claims that the government was lying about the unemployment rate blah blah blah,¹ I can’t help but get a bit of satisfaction from being able to turn that around on him. I guess it doesn’t take much these days to get a bit of satisfaction.

¹“Don’t believe these phony numbers,” Trump told supporters in February 2016. “The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35 [percent]. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.” Other idiotic unemployment claims are collected here.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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