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The AP is Messing With The Unemployment Data::My Research

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posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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After numerous discussions with family and friends about just how realistic the gloomy unemployment figures were, I endeavored to research them myself and see for sure. I am no statistician, and I ask my fellow ATSers to review what I present here, and let me know if I am on track or not.

According to the Associated Press, 467K jobs were lost in June, and the unemployment rate is 9.5 percent Link to article

First I got the baseline for the total workforce. I retrieved the civilian labor force level (LNS11000000) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June, BLS says there were 154,926,000 people in the labor force.

Next, I got the count of unemployed less than 5 weeks from BLS (LNS13008396). The count was 3,204,000.

Next, I got the count of unemployed for 5-14 weeks from BLS (LNS13008756). The count was 4,066,000.

Next, I got the count of unemployed 15 weeks or more from BLS (LNS13008516). The count was 7,833,000.

If you add all those counts up you get total unemployed = 15,103,000

15,103,000:154,926,000 = 9.75% NOT 9.5% as reported by the AP

I used the same LNS reports above to compute the total unemployed for May and that was 14,598,000

15,103,000 - 14,598,000 = 505,000 jobs lost from May to June, NOT 497,000 as reported by the AP.

So what's the deal-eo here? The AP can't read simple reports like I did? Or are they shaving the results, so things don't look so bad? A combination of both?

You be the judge... Hope this was helpful to those that are interested.

BTW the link to the BLS reports is BLS Link




posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 07:19 PM
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Yup, 9.5% is misleading. It's U-3, and U-6 is more realistic but far from reality.

In May 2009:

  • 305 Million people in the U.S. (Census Bureau)
  • 235.6 Million able workers in the U.S. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 140.1 Million employed people in the U.S. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 14.7 Million unemployed people in the U.S. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 9.5% Unemployment rate (14.7/140.1)


Looking at the 14.7 Million out of work (a year ago there were 8.5 Million) that's close to 10% of the working people. But if you look at the rest of the people who are not working, it's far, far more than 10%.



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