posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 06:12 PM
I'd put it at least this high if not higher. There is also no metric for "underemployment...": Physics PhDs stacking shirts at Wal-Mart, for
example. These people are simply counted as "employed" (as indeed they are, and in my mind all work is noble and worthy) but its hardly a measure of
a healthy society. People used to speak with amazement after the fall of the Soviets about taxi drivers who used to be surgeons or professors. We're
starting to see the same think here.
Any way you cut it, a 20% unemployment rate is uncomfortably close to Great Depression levels.
True unemployment rate already at 20%
...Not to scare you, but the situation is actually worse than it seems. Over the years, the government has changed the way it counts the unemployed.
An example of this is the criticized Birth-Death Model which was added in 2000. The model is designed to account for the birth and death of businesses
and the resultant lag in survey data. Unfortunately, the model doesn't work that well during economic contractions (like we have now) and
consistently overstates the number of jobs being created each month....
There are similar issues with the way the unemployment rate is measured. The headline rate only jumped from 9.4% to 9.5% because of a drop in the
number of people in the workforce. The more inclusive "U-6" measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers, jumped from 16.4% to 16.5%.
But even this doesn't adequately capture the situation on the ground: Back in the Clinton Administration, the definition of discouraged worker was
changed to only include those that had given up looking for work because there were no jobs to be had within the last year.
By adding these folks back in, William's SGS-Alternate Unemployment Measure rose to a jaw-dropping 20.6%. Separately, the Center for Labor Market
Studies in Boston puts U.S. unemployment at 18.2%. Any way you cut the numbers, the situation is very bad. According to David Rosenberg, one-in-three
among the unemployed have been looking for a job for more than six months and still can't find one.
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