Real Unemployment

Friday, Nov 06, 2009

People who are out of work but no longer looking for jobs aren't counted as officially unemployed.

Read that again. People who are so discouraged that they can't find a job and who have stopped looking for a job, are not counted as unemployed. They are officially referred to as discouraged or "marginally attached" workers by the government. It only follows that the government either considers these people as employed, or worse, as non-existent, both of which are a slap in the face for those people. Of course, these are real human beings. They still have to eat, and live somewhere, and consume from the economy. (Quote from above: [Breitbart](http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9BFJEQG2&show_article=1). Official government definition of U-6 (and the other U-s) [here](http://www.bls.gov/opub/ils/pdf/opbils67.pdf) and [here](http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/1995/10/art3full.pdf).)

The often cited unemployment rate in the media is U-3, which is currently at 10.2%. The real unemployment rate is U-6, which is currently 17.5%. Moreover, as somebody from the U-3 pool "gives up," they move to the U-6 pool, rather than being reflected in both pools, so the U-3 pool actually goes down while the U-6 pool goes up. So not only is U-3 under counting unemployment, but its rate of increase or decrease is deceptive. Both statistics are tracked by the government, so it's likely the real real unemployment rate is even higher (See ShadowStats.com which puts unemployment at 22%) (See also New York Times, Broader Measure of U.S. Unemployment Stands at 17.5%, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/business/economy/07econ.html).

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-12. Alternative measures of labor underutilization, http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab12.htm.