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The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday.
"If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking -- so-called discouraged workers -- and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.
Nothing to like here....
In the week ending Aug. 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 570,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 580,000. The 4-week moving average was 566,250, a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week's revised average of 571,000.
Yeah, ok - a quick look at the table shows the following:
There has been no meaningful change. Today's number was 570k, last week 580k, August 8th 561k. Right up the middle. Oh, last year was 433k.
The insured total dropped to 6,133,000, a drop of 119,000. But it looks like (we don't have current-week numbers) most of that "drop" was in fact people rolling off onto extended benefits, where they're no longer in the headline number.
The bottom line remains that the employment situation remains extremely weak and shows no real sign of improvement. Yes, it is leveling off - but we're more like flat on our back than anything else.
No consumer, no economic recovery. No jobs, no consumer.
Its pretty simple folks.