Friday, December 05, 2008

Unemployment: The Real Number

We all know that the Feds have jiggered "unemployment" rates for a long time--at least partially by creating a "birth/death" factor which purports to measure 'new jobs created' against 'old jobs deleted.' Of course, the 'new jobs created' number is pulled out of thin air, because the statis-geeks make assumptions about 'new businesses started' before such businesses can be identified, much less measured.

There are other 'jiggers,' and they are bi-partisan in genesis.

Oh, well.

Another thought: look at line U-6 on this report.

Therein, you will find BLS' genuinely UGLY number:

...12.2%, up 1.1% since last month and 4.1% in the last 12 months, or a rise of 50% (!)
This is all unemployed plus all "marginally attached" workers (those working part-time who would like a full-time job, as a percentage.


This, the "non-adjusted" number, is the actual unemployment rate as reported before the BLS (government) started dicking with the numbers, and best matches unemployment as reported in, oh, the 1930s.

Genuine ugly.

HT: MarketTicker

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