Inflation Numbers and Unemployment Numbers


Latest inflation report came out today (BLS is the Bureau of Labor Statistics):

Core inflation excludes energy and food, so we get to say that inflation is at 8.2%, which is still the highest in 40 years, but most of the items on that list are energy and food, and many are a lot higher than 8.2%, so the 8.2% number doesn’t do justice to the enormity of current inflation.

Biden economic adviser Jared Bernstein said this:

What the president said was that a recession is far from inevitable and I think what he was referring to there is the strength of our job market. Look, you just don’t have a recession when you have a 3.5 percent unemployment rate adding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month. That’s just completely inconsistent with recession.

We’re actually already in a recession, defined by experts as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, but Democrats have at least temporarily redefined the word “recession” to mean something else.

Don’t worry, the next time we have two consecutive quarters of declining GDP in a Republican administration, the definition will go back to the way it was before.

Adding jobs is an anomaly. We lost about 20 million jobs during the COVID pandemic and so far we’ve got about 10 million of them back. So we’re not really adding new jobs. We’re just regaining jobs that we used to have but lost.

The 3.5 percent unemployment number puzzles me. I can’t say it’s wrong but we’re far from regaining all of the pandemic job losses and the industry that I work in, which is technology, has had a lot of layoffs this year.

Tech companies with recent layoffs include Oracle, Intel, Spotify, DocuSign, Twilio, Patreon, Snap,, Meta, Apple, HBO Max, Microsoft, Groupon, Robinhood, Shopify, Vimeo, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix and Carvana.

In non-tech layoff news:

Walmart has begun to lay off corporate employees, the company confirmed Wednesday, about a week after it slashed its profit outlook and warned that consumers had pulled back on discretionary spending due to inflation. —

I could go on with this but I think we both get the point. Are they double-counting people with more than one job? Because there are currently a record number of Americans working more than one full-time job.

Have people just dropped out of the job market entirely? You don’t get counted as unemployed if you’re not actually trying to find a job. According to, 1 million people dropped out of the workforce in just one month earlier this year. So that helps the unemployment numbers.

By the way, does anyone have $5,000 they can loan me for groceries this week?

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