Sunday :: Aug 3, 2003

Unemployment Facts

by Mary

Posted by Mary

Thursday the economic news said the country was finally pulling itself out of the doldrums of slow economic growth. James Glassman talked about how things were getting better::

Similarly, economist James Glassman of J.P. Morgan Chase said second-quarter GDP and jobless claims were "quite promising" in their implication that consumers and businesses saw better times ahead, even if growth is still below what is needed to reduce the unemployment rate.

But is that really true? The unemployment numbers dropped, but does that really mean the economy is doing better? And who are included in the unemployment numbers? Tonight I spent some time with some friends I don't see often and found out that he had been out of work for over 10 months and she doesn't ever expect to be re-employed as a Software Quality Engineer again.

My friends had seen a story on the The Newshour that showed that if you used the same criteria from the early 80's, our unemployment rate would be even worse.

Add them all up, and today's 6.4 percent official unemployment rate approaches 1982's 10.8 percent record, at least for men. There's one last way to confirm this. Back in 1982, the percent of total working age men not employed for whatever reason -- discouraged, disabled, jailed, retired early, or officially out of work -- was 17.3 percent. But as of last month, that total was even higher: 17.8 percent not employed, which make the current job bust, at least for men, look far deeper than the official unemployment rate suggests.

Talk about cooking the books. And please don't forget that we are now running deficits that will constrain our ability to address this problem for a very long time.

By the time Bush leaves the White House (hopefully much sooner than is currently expected), he will have earned his reputation as the President who bested Hoover in job losses.

Mary :: 12:54 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!