Friday, May 7, 2010

Unemployment Rises to 17.1%

"Work would cure almost anything, I believed then and I believe now." -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Moveable Feast"

Once again, not enough jobs were created for those who need jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Official" Unemployment Rate (U-3) rose to 9.9% and its "Real" Unemployment (U-6) has risen to 17.1% despite a much touted gain of 290,000 jobs. John Williams' finds the real unemployment rate to be 22%. Clearly, these numbers do not represent such an improvement as the administration and their allies in the media would like us to believe.

As the Wall Street Journal explains: "The U-6 figure includes everyone in the official rate plus “marginally attached workers” — those who are neither working nor looking for work, but say they want a job and have looked for work recently; and people who are employed part-time for economic reasons, meaning they want full-time work but took a part-time schedule instead because that’s all they could find.

A U-6 figure that converges toward the official rate could indicate improving confidence in the labor market and the overall economy. This month pushes convergence even further away."

"If the trend holds, it also means that the days of 10% unemployment may not be behind us. That means continuing downward pressure on wages. And it could spell continued trouble for the long-term unemployed. The April report showed that the number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more rose by 169,000 to 6.7 million — almost half of all unemployed people. The average duration of unemployment: 33 weeks, an increase from last month."

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