It has been understood for awhile how the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been cooking numbers to keep unemployment figures artificially low, hovering at around 10%, but BusinessWeek  recently published an article that bears repeating.
In December, the economy lost 85,000 jobs. There were 85,000 fewer job openings. Which means there are 85,000 Americans who are not working, but since there aren't jobs for them, they are not counted as unemployed. Since the labor force shrank, the percentage of unemployment did not rise.
So why would it benefit the government to be manipulating the figures in this way? Why does the government want us to believe the economy is stronger than it is? Perhaps they want us to believe that the trillions of dollars being poured into Wall Street and corporate bailouts is having a general benefit, so they can continue forth with broken policies.
1. Shrinking U.S. Labor Force Keeps Unemployment from Rising