Innumerate Unemployment News — It’s all good!

The government is jubilant that the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3% this month, from near 9% before.

Do you know how they calculate the unemployment rate? By that, I mean, do you know how the ratio of unemployed to employed people is derived and who is counted in that ratio? (HINT: not everyone who doesn’t have a job is counted as unemployed.)

Let’s say there are 50 unemployed people and 850 employed people. What is the unemployment rate? It’s 5.5%. The universe of people who are employed + people who want to be employed (the “unemployed”) is 900 people. 50/900 = .055.

Now, lets say that 5 of the unemployed got jobs, and none of the 850 got fired. The unemployment rate becomes 5.0 %.

Now, what if, instead of getting jobs, 10 of those unemployed people just said, fuck it, I’m tired of trying to get a job. The unemployment rate would become 4.4%.

In the last 2 months 2+ million people dropped out of the official government “group.” They still exist. They still eat, shit, pay sales tax and buy lottery tickets. And they don’t have jobs. For whatever reasons, they aren’t officially counted by the government anymore as “unemployed.”

If the 2 million people in the last 2 months who said “fuck it!” were to be counted as unemployed, what would the official unemployment rate be? I’m not going to answer that question for you. Go find some official government stats and calculations, do the arithmetic and enjoy your own HOLY FUCK! moment.

If you can’t figure out how to find official government stats and calculations, please stop voting.



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