Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So, what is the unemployment rate, anyway?

About 9.5%, if you count discouraged workers and the under-employed, and if you add in the undercount from urban areas. Handy metric? Add about 5% to whatever you hear on the news.

More here.


What's inflation? Add 7% to whatever they say on the news.

The lower, good news statistics brought to you, first by Clinton, and then refined by Bush. Thanks, guys.


What's that about a recession, hmmmm?

5 comments:

derekstaff said...

I was aghast a several years ago when I learned how the official unemployment numbers were skewed to present a more rosy picture. The fact that so many people who in reality would like to work are left out for strictly political reasons is disgraceful.

geo said...

Agreed. I remember hearing in the Clinton era (on KRCL, I believe) about the methodology that left out discouraged workers, etc. It's only gotten worse since.

Steve said...

Actually, these numbers have been skewed for years! Not just the past two presidents. That's the thing with stats, they can easily be manipulated; and for that reason polls too are not that trustworthy.

djinn said...

I'd be interested in what info you have on other dithering with these numbers. I've heard unemployment figures as high as 12.5%....

Steve said...

I don't have any hard evidence to present other than the fact that your definition and my definition and the Labor Depts and the President's defintions can all be different, thus you will get different numbers. No President or Mayor wants to have the number be higher than the past, thus you constantly massage the definition to exclude more people out.