True Unemployment Numbers

Unemployment is reported as having gone up to 9.1% in May. It’s actually worse:

Since November, the number of Americans counted as employed has grown by 765,000, to just shy of 139 million. The nation has been creating jobs every month as the economy recovers. The economy added 244,000 jobs in April.
But the number of Americans counted as unemployed has shrunk by much more — almost 1.3 million — during this time. That means the labor force has dropped by 529,000 workers.
The percentage of adults in the labor force is a figure that economists call the participation rate. It is 64.2 percent, the smallest since 1984. And that’s become a mystery to economists. Normally after a recession, an improving economy lures job seekers back into the labor market. This time, many are staying on the sidelines.
Their decision not to seek work means the drop in unemployment from 9.8 percent in November to 9 percent in April isn’t as good as it looks.
If the 529,000 missing workers had been out scavenging for a job without success, the unemployment rate would have been 9.3 percent in April, not the reported rate of 9 percent. And if the participation rate were as high as it was when the recession began, 66 percent, in December 2007, the unemployment rate could have been as high as 11.5 percent.

It sure feels worse.

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mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

At the same time, I hear business owners, people who run non-profits, and managers complaining that they can’t get people with the skills they need for technical work. Apparently there are a lot of Electrical Engineering graduates out there who can’t solder or work on ‘real’ stuff. There is a shortage of systems administrators and low-level developers. In entry-level jobs, I hear managers complain that they can’t find high-school grads who can read or write emails well-enough to take on, and college grads are too expensive now that they often have $300/month debt attached to them as soon as they’re in the market (you can’t LIVE here on $15/hr if you have to pay loans back, rent, have a car, and keep it legal with $200/month insurance).
Also, people don’t seem as willing as they used to to switch out of their old careers into new ones. Know anyone who wants to work at a university making $15/hr with full bennies as a night janitor? The position has been open for a long while now.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

It’s worse than that, Mangeek. Because of the dumbing-down of many college programs, including the awarding of degrees in “junk” majors, even many college graduates are not qualified for professional-level jobs. All that debt and all those years wasted because the entitlement society steered young people into poor decisions.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

This is the phoniest most corrupt administration in the White House in the history of this country. Food stamps up,number of employed down,regulations up,hiring down,drilling down,gas prices up,home sales down,home values down,dollar down,food prices up….see a pattern here? Hussein Obama is taking this country down one state at a time. We are past the 11th hour and the alien in the white house is not done. Next up……let in the illegals legally to expand the Dem voting base and turn the lights out on the legal hard working middle class. Husseins hope and change? Let’s hope the change is stopped in its tracks. Join your local Tea Party. The future of the country is at stake.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Food stamps up,number of employed down,regulations up,hiring down,drilling down,gas prices up,home sales down,home values down,dollar down,food prices up”
Don’t forget: federal purchasing of limos up 74%. You can’t make this stuff up.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

“Don’t forget: federal purchasing of limos up 74%”.
Thus the term Limousine Liberal is operative. Hussein and his wife Marie Michelle Antoinette are not even going to let the masses eat cake……too much trans fat you see.

stuckhereinrihell
stuckhereinrihell
10 years ago

“they can’t get people with the skills they need for technical work”
“There is a shortage of systems administrators and low-level developers.”
True and true, and I would add a shortage of senior developers as well. A severe shortage of good technical talent, period. If you graduated with a technical degree from a RI College/University, would YOU stick around here in RI? NO WAY, go to where the jobs are and the perception (and in part the sad, sad reality) is that there are no decent technical jobs here in RI.
Personally I hope my company moves to another state ( a possibility) so I can get the hell out of here.

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