Unemployment rate at 7.8%? If you believe that, you probably believe the presidential polls …
Here are a few fast facts (from BankruptingAmerica.org) to put today’s absurd announcement into persepctive:
- The real unemployment rate stayed at 14.7%. This includes the underemployed and those who have given up looking for work.
- 23 million Americans are still looking for work. In January 2009, that figure was 22 million.
- Of the 12.1 million Americans unemployed, more than one third (4.8 million) have been looking for work for over six months.
- 802,000 Americans have stopped looking for work
- In January 2009, the average amount of time spent unemployed was 19.8 weeks. Today, the amount of time has doubled, rising to 39.8 weeks.
- Nearly one in six Americans are living in poverty, the highest number in two decades.
- Manufacturing employment edged down in September by -16,000 jobs.
If you’re wondering why the drop, it simply means another massive group of Americans have come to the end of their extended unemployment benefits and are no longer counted.
In reality, the only numbers that count are listed above. The labor participation rate essentially remains unchanged. Those who are celebrating 7.8% are only fooling themselves. Those who are unemployed certainly know who they are and when it comes time to enter the voting booth and pull the lever aren’t going to be thinking about this “improved number”. They’re going to be dealing with the fact they don’t have a job.
Wonder who they’ll blame?