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America riggs the numbers when it comes to measuring unemployment. It may be that every country does that. I really can’t say. I think that Bernie Sanders is coming close to real numbers when e quotes 10.5%. American’s participation in the labor market (which is different than the employment rate) is as low as it’s been since the Department of Labor started measuring it. 62.6% of all Americans participate in the labor force, leaving 37.4% who do not.  There are a number of reasons that people don’t work. Having said that, one must look at the current participation rate historically to determine “how bad things are”.

There are different reasons for this. One is the system that the nation has put in place, which encourages an underground employment wherein people work but they are not paid through the traditional reporting system. They work “under the table”, for cash. It benefits both the employer and the employee because neither has the burden of Social Security, income tax, Medicare or employer matching costs. Often the employee can claim unemployment and thus, qualify for food stamps, aid for dependent children, housing subsidies and pull in tens of thousands in earned income credit.

If the employment rate is so good, why is the nation teetering on recession — still. I understand that Obama and his acolyte, Hillary Clinton are telling America that, “happy days are here again”. I simply think that they’re full of —rhetoric.

18 thoughts on “Unemployment

  1. The progressive lobby is too caught up in the glory of homosexual marriage and transgender issues to care much about faked unemployment numbers. And the press don't investigate, so it doesn't ever get out.

  2. Taken as a totality, yes. Places like Texas have far fuller employment than states like Illinois, with regional pockets (I'm thinking Detroit, Baltimore and the places that the liberals pronounce paradise-on-earth and the model for the nation) where it's well beyond 50%.

  3. FWIW: June 2015 Unemployment: 5.3% (U.3), 10.5% (U.6), 23.1% (ShadowStats) Seems Old NFO may be gently understating it.

  4. It's a large problem. When we get a new executive branch, it would be interesting to see if they fire the leadership at the Department of Labor and put honest people in their places.

  5. I think Bernie is close by half. Yes, I think it's closer to 20%

  6. According to economist David Stockman, the actual unemployment rate is 42.9%, and he bases that on dividing the total number of labor hours worked by total number of potential labor hours available. A reasonable way to look at it.

    And we get an unreasonable result. Lots of people not working, but those slothful folk are still watching big screen TV's, lounging on their couches in air conditioning, talking on their iPhones (or Obamaphones, more likely), and never missing a meal.

    And yet 97 million of these non-working Americans are not lifting a finger to contribute to GDP. How long can this last, I wonder?

    Back to Herbert Stein: if something can't go on, it won't.

  7. The free lunch/free cheese/free obamaphone crowd is getting larger and larger. So is the underground economy. The 42% number may not reflect that gray economy where people work for cash. Example: I had a plumber come to the house last month and he asked if I was paying cash – folding money. 10% discount for folding money. I gave him the folding money.

  8. Baltimore 'supposedly' has 45% unemployment in 'underserved' districts… They actually have more on welfare than working!!!

  9. More than 100 million Americans over 16 are not working. Usually when the economy picks up, workers who have been laid off stampede back into the workforce to earn a paycheck. Now we have a better job market with fewer workers.

    This is partially explained by baby boomers retiring. But the largest reduction in the workforce has been among the millennials. Today the labor force participation rate for the 16 to 24 age group is 55.1%

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