Blog posted on: November 13, 2009

17 comments on “Small Observation

  1. Adam

    Really, that doesn't sound bad? 1 out of 10 people that want to work can't find enough work to support themselves and their family. I guess that isn't bad, we can always raise taxes for the other 9 of us to pay for their healthcare and other needs.

  2. Anonymous

    Oh yea 10% isn't bad at all until you realize the US population is around 304,000,000. Then if you assume at least half of those are working adults, that means that only 15,200,000 people are out of jobs. It's not so bad!

  3. Anonymous

    After a while ppl without a job fall off the radar and don't get counted when they cannot collect anymore. So 10% is not really 10% of everyone who was once working but no longer has a job today.

  4. Observ

    Not really. Actually the unemployment rate is 10.2 % of the people who once worked but no longer do.

    The Employment force (which is ~56% of the total population) need to support themselves + Unemployed + not in labor force (grandma, kids, handicapped, etc) which are around 44% of the total population.

    So yes a percent from 9.2 -> 10.2 increase in unemployment is not that bad. It means that we just took ~3000 jobs off and we've put that on the shoulders of working people to sustain.

  5. Drew

    Actually the rate is 10.2% and does not include people whose unemployment benefits have run out or people who or people who have taken jobs for much, much less (you were a VP at a bank making $100k and now you are stocking shelves at walmart). The full rate is ~17%. Now walk down the street and imagine every sixth person you pass is looking for work and about to lose or already lost their house. Oh and in places like Detroit it is much higher.

    Also Austin is a happy little bubble for now. Keep your fingers crossed that things hold up.

  6. Anonymous

    10% is way to high for a modern society. The direct effects on family and how it impacts society as a whole is overall negative. Also you have to take into account those that have no more benifits they are not counted there are those that take jobs of lower pay and prestige because "they are to good" to use the unemployment system. These people have an overall negative effect on society due to thier feeling of alenation from their work. Now I will mention something no one else has yet. Most college enrollments are up. I do not have exact #s but here in north west arkansas where wal mart is HQ we have seen a 20% increase at the community college. These people (me) are riding out the recesion by using fasfa and student loans. We are retraining and thats good but we are here not on free will but of nessesity. Any who nev your not stupid but you should take some continuing education classes and look into some of these impacts. Not bitching just disagreeing . Keep up the good work. later man.

  7. Mike

    Last month the government paid a whopping $14.93 billion in interest payments. Between 2001 and 2008 the total public debit increased from $5.6 trillion to $10.7 trillion. Currently the total public debt is approximately $11.99 Trillion (the sum of yearly debt since we became a nation). This brings our total debt to GDP ratio close to 80%.

    Read more at: Mike's Economy Blog

  8. Anonymous

    The problem with looking on the positive side of 10% unemployment is that those who are employed don't have to feel anything about those who are unemployed so the divide stays big. The truth is that corporations want the highest profits and people are expendable. If we stay so wrapped up in "it's not so bad" then it will do what it has done for these last 10 years…get worse. America can do better for all of us. Just a thought. Love the blog

  9. jonathan

    Yes, I agree that an unemployment rate of 10%, 1/10 or 10/100 doesn't sound like much at all. Losing 7.2 million jobs to bring the unemployment rate past 10% when there are still 154 million jobs doesn't seem that bad after all. Maybe we are asking the wrong question.

    According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, the average wage per U.S. worker in 2008 was over $41,000/year. Multiply that by 7.2 million and you see that the direct economic impact is $295 billion dollars. The overall economic impact of losing 295 billion in wages is however greatly amplified the derivative effects these wages have on the economy. These effective wages that would have been spent or invested would have been multiplied many times over (somewhere probably in the trillions) during a year through the money multiplier, velocity effects, etc…

    So the question you may want to ask instead: Is 295 billion dollars a lot of money? How about a trillion plus dollars?

    Silverback Apparel

  10. Johnie

    Drew is right in his comment above.

    10% unemployment doesn't mean that 90% of people are employed!! This is absolutely wrong.

    That 10% figure is number of people in the "civilian labor force" that do not currently have a job.

    The definition of "civilian labor force" is rather important.

    The official definition is "All members of the population aged 16 or over in the United States who are not in the military or institutions such as prisons or mental hospitals and who are either employed or are unemployed and actively seeking and available for work."

    The key here is "actively seeking and available for work." If you do not have a job and are not actively seeking employment, you are not unemployed. Actively seeking employment means that in the last 4 weeks, you've done job seeking activity.

    If there is a market related reason for you not to find a job, you become part of the discouraged worker statistics and are no longer unemployed (according to official unemployment). This is captured in the U-4 number.. currently 10.5%

    If you are not actively looking for a job, but want a job and have tried in the last 12 months, you are considered part of the "marginally attached labor force" and are no longer officially unemployed. This is captured in the U-5 number.. currently 11.3%

    After 12 months, if you haven't done any job seeking activity, you are no longer in the labor force; you are neither employed nor unemployed.

    For many state unemployment benefits, after a certain number of weeks of unemployment benefit, you are required to take any job that you are qualified for even if it's a lower wage. So an executive in NY that has been laid off and can't get another job after 13 weeks and gets an offer from McDonald's will no longer be eligible for unemployment benefit. If you take a part time job because you can't find a full time job, you are not unemployed. This is captured in the U-6 number. Currently 17.2%

    So, it is definitely incorrect to say that because unemployment rate is 10%, 90% of people are employed.
    Also this:


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