If you ignore bad news, good news look a lot better; such is the story with the news media’s glowing reports of the unemployment rate dropping from 9.0 to 8.6 percent. Beneath the new unemployment numbers you’ll find a story that isn’t being reported honestly by the mainstream media.

It was reported today that 120,000 jobs were created in November; yet to keep the unemployment rate steady the economy must create 160,000 per month. Even a 3rd grader can figure out that the unemployment rate should’ve gone up, not down. What new-wave math produces a four tenths reduction in the unemployment rate when more people are unemployed? It’s called ignoring the truth.

In its infinite wisdom, our government only considers you among the unemployed when you are actively seeking work. If you give up the search, you’re no longer unemployed. Huh? So technically once the economy gets so bad that the unemployed find the search fruitless the unemployment situation is reported as improving. We pay for this folks in our taxes.

If there was any question about what direction the economy is going just take a good look at the numbers from November. Last month 487,000 of the unemployed gave up, at which point our government stopped counting them and consider that they’ve left the labor force. For some reason some spectacularly brilliant government employee decided that nearly half a million people either retired or no longer needed to earn a living; your tax dollars at work once again.

Nearly a 5th of all truly unemployed persons have already lost their unemployment benefits because our federal laws allow states to cut off benefits after the state’s unemployment numbers drop to certain levels. Want to bet that the states are doing the same kind of fuzzy math to meet those numbers?

The current average number of weeks that unemployed have been unsuccessfully looking for work has reached a new record, doubling the old record set during the recession of 1981-1982. While “technically” the recession ended in June 2009, the number of weeks people are looking for jobs has surged during 2011 and the number of people who have abandoned looking has risen steadily. Not much of a recovery.

Surely a 120,000-job increase looks good, but only when you realize just how bad it has been. An economy producing less than 300,000 jobs per month will take years to bring the true unemployment rate down below 6 percent. Unfortunately there’s a 100 percent chance that the 120,000 job number will be revised downward substantially next month. Add the more than 360,000 that gave up looking and you’re witnessing an economy that’s spiraling downwards.

A much more accurate measure of the number of jobs created comes from Department of Labor’s daily income tax deposits to the Treasury; those numbers showed only 64,000 jobs being added in November. And even with those pathetic numbers a good deal of those jobs are temporary as retailers and shippers add additional staff for the holiday season. After the New Year expect many of those jobs to evaporate and the workers to either return to the unemployment rolls or join those that have given up.

Even many non-holiday jobs created in the past few months have not been permanent as employers have been unwilling to commit to long-term employment with the current state of the economy and an anti-business Obama administration.

The fact is that the economy has continued to lose a significant number of jobs over the past few months and while the president will tout the drop in the “rate” because it bolsters his re-election odds, it’s a massive lie being perpetrated on the American public. If you believe the economy is getting better, wake up. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is barely measurable while U.S. debt is growing considerably; this is simply not a recipe for honest job growth.