The Other Christmas List: Unemployment Rate

The Other Christmas List: Unemployment Rate

As we approach the holiday season, many Americans are out of work. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been naughty or nice. The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9.8%. The real unemployment rate: 17% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work).

Congress put coal in the well-darned Christmas stockings of many unemployed Americans. It failed to extend jobless benefits.

Happy Holidays.

Image (“Santa Got Laid Off!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2 Responses to “The Other Christmas List: Unemployment Rate”

  1. Illiterati Says:

    You are quite right here.

    Sadly, government and media appear to ignore the true number of unemployed and/or underemployed persons. Or when noises start being made by media-types, things quickly quiet down, as though money has changed hands, or threats have been made.

    I see nothing that will encourage employers to start hiring once more. They’ve learned to do more with fewer and cheaper employees.

    This doesn’t look good at all for the long-term unemployed, as employers do NOT like to hire those who are 1. unemployed and/or 2. have long periods of unemployement.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Illierati wrote: … government and media appear to ignore the true number of unemployed and/or underemployed persons.

    Media continue to accept the Bureau of Labor Statistics U-3 numbers (here 9.8%) as “official” when analysts know the U-6 figure (in this case 17%) is closer to reality.

    … employers …. learned to do more with fewer and cheaper employees.

    Actually, many pretend their new employees are “private contractors” so they can avoid paying for medical benefits. Employer-paid medical benefits were a temporary measure in WWII when wages were capped by the government. This adds about 20 percent to employer costs and encourages age discrimination. In other developed countries where health costs are not job-related, employers are more inclined to retain experienced employees, raising quality and productivity.

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