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extended troop deployments has what effect on unemployment nums?

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dfong63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:02 AM
Original message
extended troop deployments has what effect on unemployment nums?
i keep reading that troops and especially national guard troops are disgruntled about the extended deployment in iraq. the news stories usually focus on the issues of troop morale vs politics. but my question is, what effect does this deployment have on the domestic unemployment figures? if the troops came home - would unemployment go up, down, or stay the same?

my guess is that it would go up, at least in the short term. probably at least some of the deployed troops were unemployed when called up, and if demobilized would return to unemployed status. others who had jobs when called up, left a void that in some cases would be filled with temporary workers, providing employment for others - which would end when the the "weekend warrior" comes back.

although in the long term, it seems to me that keeping the troops overseas is a drain on the economy, so bringing them home should be good for it overall.

another question: did the iraq war reduce unemployment by any appreciable amount?

any economists on DU care to weigh in?

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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not an economist, but
I think the unemployment rate has been edging steadily upward even throughout the war.

Furthermore, I don't see how deployed guardsmen could be eligible for unemployment benefits. Therefore they wouldn't be counted in the figures that the gov't uses for the unemployment rate.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not much
The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force which is without work. The labor force does not include the instutionalized (Military, prisons, mental hospitals, etc.)
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Resistance Is Futile Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. From first principles
As a specific issue, sending resevists off to war should decrease the unemployment rate as business will have to hire temporary workers to take the place of reservists who are off fighting. It therefore follows that bringing the reservists home will increase the unemployment rate as the returning troops return to their old jobs (*cough*) or seek new employment.

Movements of full-time troops will have no effect on the unemployment rate as they count as employed regardless of where they happen to be.

The jury is still out on what effects the current flavor of no-risk war has on an economy. I'm not familiar enough with the issues involved to make any substantive comment.
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