Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jobless rate hits 17 percent

Pay attention, there will be a quiz...
America's jobless crisis is much worse than the 9.8 percent unemployment rate reported Friday. To understand how there are many more unemployed than the government reports, it's necessary to look at the numbers used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the unemployment rate. The Household Survey numbers paint a bleak picture that no one is discussing.

In September, the economy saw a net loss of 785,000 jobs. This amounts to twice the 392,000 loss in August and five times the 155,000 loss in July. This does not jibe with the Obama administration's talking points, which are parroted by most of the news media, namely that unemployment is not a major concern because job losses supposedly are getting smaller each month.

In August, the unemployment rate was reported to be 9.7 percent. It takes a lesson in how government measures unemployment to understand why it's possible for the unemployment rate to rise merely a tenth of one percent when 785,000 jobs have been lost. If someone has given up actively looking for a job, the government does not count that person among those who are jobless. Some of these people may have been unsuccessfully looking for a job for a year, but as soon as they stop actively looking, they are no longer unemployed.

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