Thomas Perez, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Labor Department, told Congress today that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is “understat[ing]” the national unemployment rate.
“The labor force participation is at one of the lowest levels,” Perez told Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during his confirmation hearing today, adding that “7.6 percent doesn’t take into account discouraged workers, so, in that sense, it understates the unemployment rate.”
Perez made that comment after Sanders said that the true unemployment rate is 13.6 percent. The senator asked Perez to help shift the Bureau of Labor Statistics towards emphasizing the higher figures.
“I look forward to working with you and everyone on the committee to tell the story of what’s happening and to work collaboratively to identify solutions,” Perez said.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor