Category Archives: Unemployment
Half-truths from government agencies. When the government issued its latest unemployment figures this month, it supposedly showed that all unemployment had plateaued at a somewhat respectable 8.2 percent. If you got the feeling that you hadn’t been told, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,as a famous radio personality tells his audiences, … “and now for the rest of the story.”
Uncle Sam, in his infinite wisdom, uses an interesting system to track various categories of unemployment: U1, U2, U3, U4, U5, U6. The statistics for level U3 are that very same nebulous 8.2% rate recently ballyhooed by the media, the “official national unemployment rate. Here is how the other categories breakdown:
U1 – Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force
U2 – Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force
U3 – Total unemployed, as a percent f the civilian labor force, the “official” unemployment rate. This is the Unemployment Rate that gets “officially” reported.
Now here is where it gets interesting. If all unemployment is included in that U3 figure, why the other categories? “Patience, grasshopper, have patience.”
U4 – total unemployed, plus discouraged workers. I guess the government was so discouraged that they decided that we didn’t need to know about these workers. **Discouraged = no longer looking for work, gave up. No reason to count them. Right?
U5 – Total unemployed, plus discouraged** workers, plus all other marginally attached workers* as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers. Anybody want to hazard a guess what a “marginally attached” worker is? Since they are included in the figures, do you think that, in all fairness, perhaps these workers should be categorized as “marginally unattached.”
Enough with the “bsing” and sanitizing of the unemployment figures for consumption for what government must consider the ignorant general public. It’s
time for a reality check and that means the U6 numbers.
U6 – Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers**, plus total employed part-time for economic reasons. Translation: couldn’t find a full-time job in their or any other profession. This is the “broadest” measure of unemployment that gets officially tracked. Around since 1994, but a very
similar series was also in existence dating back to 1970; the two are sometimes
used interchangeably…but, then again, who knows about it?
U6 includes everyone, including the part-timers and the under-employed who went from 6 figures to the employment line, the MBAs delivering pizzas – a recent radio show call-in actually had two Masters degrees and is now working as a delivery man. By the way, this hush-hush figure is an alarmingly robust 14.9%! Wow!
14.9% versus 8.2%. Hmm. Is that an error of omission or commission? When is a lie not a lie? When it’s told by a government agency? There is a wee bit of difference here. Borrowing from the Wizard of Oz, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…” Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to know that the government doesn’t want us to worry our poor little heads about the realities of unemployment when we already have enough to worry about keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads.
I resent being spoon fed whatever deliberately censored portion of reality our government sees fit to release to the masses as gospel. Don’t they know that the people on the street corners and countless empty storefronts are a dead giveaway or are they that much out of touch with the people?
Tell it like it is! This is American. We can take it. How do you fix it if they won’t tell you about it. That’s what I think, but, then again, that’s just one man’s opinion.