Monday, December 12, 2011

Unemployment: the truth begins to spread

A few days ago I wrote about the unemployment situation, pointing out that US government figures about it were basically lies, both by commission and by omission. Now it seems the truth is beginning to be discussed more widely in the mainstream media as well. Writing in the Washington Post, Ezra Klein notes:

Remember that the unemployment rate is not "how many people don't have jobs?", but "how many people don't have jobs and are actively looking for them?" Let's say you've been looking fruitlessly for five months and realize you've exhausted every job listing in your area. Discouraged, you stop looking, at least for the moment. According to the government, you're no longer unemployed. Congratulations?

There's more at the link.

Now, if we can just get the rest of the mainstream media to accept and admit - publicly - that US government statistics on unemployment are not only unreliable, but dishonest (in other words, that they've 'cooked the books' in order to avoid having to admit the truth), then we might begin to get somewhere . . . Unfortunately, as long as the US government refuses to admit the scale and scope of the problem, it won't be willing to take appropriate, adequate and effective corrective measures. That's why our economy is still screwed - because almost every economic statistic provided by the powers that be has been 'massaged' to support their message, rather than reflecting the real conditions out there. (For the real numbers, visit John Williams' He's been pointing out inaccuracies, deliberate and inadvertent, in the official figures for years.)

We've still got a long way to go.



Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I buy the argument that if you've stopped looking for a job you should be counted as unemployed still. If you aren't actively looking for some form of employment, whether it's putting in applications, going door to door or hanging out at home depot as a self employed "contractor", then it doesn't seem like you should count for the statistic. Not to say that I think the BLS numbers are accurate, but that a statistic which would technically include everyone who's not working for whatever given reason is also useless.

Anonymous said...

In some cases you're only as unemployed as you want to be: