Saturday, April 17, 2021

According to Dr. Cecilia Rouse, Biden’s Official Unemployment Rate of 6.00 % is Ill-Suited.

April 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( When will the Biden Administration stop using the U-3 category rate, which in March was 6%, as the official unemployment rate? Before going any further, it is imperative you understand what the U-3 category rate of unemployment is, as it relates to the unemployment situation in our nation today, then we will discuss Dr. Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and why she indicated the 6 percent rate is not accurate and other ramifications.

The nation’s employment situation has been politicized. Objectivity and who is measured, and which unemployment rate is presented as “the official unemployment rate,” when it comes to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports is the subject of much criticism. THE TRUTH MATTERS, in the calculation of idle workers in our economy, who want to work.

To understand exactly what I mean, go to the following link at the BLS web site and see for yourself the range of “Alternative Measurements of Unemployment” ( ). You will see, there are six categories and depending on which category is used, United States presidential administrations can manipulate “the official unemployment rate,” for their own political purposes.

Since, the Clinton administration, the category that has been used in reporting the official unemployment rate is U-3. It was during Mr. Clinton’s administration, under his Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, the categories were redesigned ( ). As a result of this redesign, it was decided by Clinton and Reich that the U-3 category would become his administration’s official unemployment rate. As the official unemployment rate, this would be the rate that would be reported to the media and broadcast around the world as America’s unemployment rate.


If you read the PDF at the above link, the October 1995 article by Bregger and Haugen, who represented in-house economists at the BLS at the time the redesign was done, you will see on page 24, they stated, “This (U-6) is the most comprehensive of the new range of alternative measures…” of the rate of U.S. unemployment. Yet, President Clinton and his Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich ignored this advice from the experienced experts in this field and chose to use the U-3 category rate, as “the official unemployment rate,” which today has proven to be a narrow, and ill-suited indicator of the United States’ unemployment situation.

Biden’s own Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, who is also the former Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, on February 18, 2021 in an interview on CNBC, commenting on the nation’s January unemployment rate said, “We have an unemployment rate that if properly measured in some sense, is really close to 10%. In addition to over 9 million people unemployed, we have 4 million who’ve dropped out of the labor force, another 2 million who have seen reduced hours. So, we’re digging out of a deep hole. Last year was the worst year for economic growth since World War II.” Her comments, as stated, were in reference to “the official Biden administration unemployment rate for January,” adopted from the Trump administration, which stood at 6.3% using the U-3 category.

Janet Yellen echoed the comments of current Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, who stated, at the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee news conference on January 27, 2021, “The real unemployment rate is close to 10 percent (for December) if you include people that have left the labor force,” and not the 6.7% advertised by the Trump administration, as the official unemployment rate. He further stated, in that news conference, “Something like 9 million people remain unemployed and that is, as many people, as lost their jobs at the peak of the global financial crisis, in the Great Recession.”

The business community has also weighed-in when it comes to what “the Real Unemployment Rate” is, through a website, named “The Balance.” The Balance states: “It is among the top-10 largest finance properties as measured by comScore, a leading Internet measurement company.” It says additionally: “Our more than 50 expert writers have extensive qualifications and expertise in their topics, including MBAs, PhDs, CFPs, other advanced degrees and professional certifications ( ).”

The Balance placed the real March unemployment rate at 10.7%. The black unemployment rate, the highest of any worker group, is usually 5-6% higher than the national average. Therefore, for the month of March, we can conservatively say, the African American community’s rate of unemployment is, 15.7%. The Biden administration, in adopting the Trump administration’s method of undercounting jobless American workers, who adopted the Clinton administration’s use of the U-3 category rate, placed the national rate of unemployment for March, at 6.0%. So, the obvious question is, in doing this, is the Biden administration continuing this ill-suited and dishonest practice of undercounting the unemployed started by the Clinton administration? It is almost impossible, “when you inaccurately count the unemployed” to acknowledge, the nation is in a deep Recession. As the Federal Reserve Chairman stated, we are in an Economic Downturn matching the Great Recession.

Now, comes Biden’s own Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Cecilia Rouse, on the White House web site on April 2, 2021, she states, “Given the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies and defines unemployed workers, the headline unemployment rate (the Biden administration’s 6.0% unemployment rate) “likely understates unemployment” in a pandemic relative to a typical downturn. Since February 2020, almost 4 million workers have dropped out of the labor force. Accounting for labor force dropouts and misclassification issues related to (the) BLS’s survey questions implies an unemployment rate around 9 percent.”

You ask, so what is my point in revealing this information? It ought to be obvious. By improperly counting the unemployed, as Yellen says which is what Biden and the Democratic Party is doing, Black Americans suffer the most from this devious practice! Under Biden’s count the black rate which is always 5-6% higher than the national average and is the highest unemployment rate of any worker group is never, and I mean never publicly revealed. Before reading this piece, did you know the Black American unemployment rate is, as high as 15.7% or more? I guarantee that 90% of America does not know. It is what you could call a whisper number, always cloaked in silence, and never openly discussed. That which is never PUBLICLY revealed is never properly funded, or politically addressed, and that which is never properly funded, never gets the benefit of a real solution. Is this RACIST? You be the judge.

Nevertheless, working-class Americans across this nation deserve an answer to the question posed at the beginning of this article. That question is, when will the Biden Administration stop using the U-3 category rate, as the official unemployment rate?!

Staff Writer; James Davis

Mr. Davis is a leading expert and consultant in Financial Analysis and Social Dynamics. He is a graduate of Florida A. and M. University (FAMU), a former stockbroker, and a human rights activist who resides in Sanford, Florida. He was awarded the prestigious Governor Haydon Burns Scholarship to attend FAMU and while at FAMU was awarded the first Martin Luther King Scholarship. He is the author of three books, among them is “The Fix This Time,” Boost Your Retirement Income! Simultaneously Create Jobs and Spur Economic Growth (

Mr. Davis can be reached through his blog @


One Response to “According to Dr. Cecilia Rouse, Biden’s Official Unemployment Rate of 6.00 % is Ill-Suited.”
  1. In the interest of complete transparency and my goal and others, who have an interest in truth and equity, I received an e-mail from Secretary Robert Reich or someone who purports to be Secretary Reich at my blog, under “About This Advocacy.” Here is that E-Mail for your perusal.

    Robert Reich

    April 9, 2021 at 1:25 am Edit

    Dear Mr. Davis. You write that “it was decided by Clinton and Reich that the U-3 category would become his administration’s official unemployment rate.” That is untrue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a statistical agency whose independence from politics is critically important to its credibility. Neither I as secretary of labor nor President Clinton intruded on that independence. The BLS decided and continues to decide how the nation’s unemployment rate is defined, measured, and explained to the public.

    I want to thank Secretary Reich and apologize to him and President Clinton for any misunderstanding of our federal statues by me, when writing this article. However, I have to ask him and others in our federal government with the understanding, that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) oversees our unemployment data and in doing so, has to be apolitical in presenting that data, if the BLS gets complete independence in designating what category the official unemployment rate will originate, without getting any guidance or input from the President of the United States and the Secretary of Labor? After all, the head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports to the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Labor is appointed by the President of the United States.

    In conclusion, by federal statue does the Bureau of Labor Statistics have the right to designate the category of the official unemployment rate? If this is the case, this is problematic for American workers, especially Black Americans, because the U-3 Category unduly discriminates against blacks racially.

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