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How do we get 7.2% unemployment with these statistics??

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 08:56 AM
Original message
How do we get 7.2% unemployment with these statistics??
Edited on Fri Jan-09-09 09:01 AM by kentuck
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27913794

According to this map, there is only one state in the union with unemployment rate above 7.2%? The numbers do not average out to 7.2%? How do we explain these numbers??

(On edit, we need to move the sliding scale at the top of map)
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. The gov't number is pretty shaky anyway
There are a lot of unemployed folks who were either never counted or who have dropped off the 'official' count.
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rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. Move the time line at the top of the screen to Dec 2008
Edited on Fri Jan-09-09 09:01 AM by rox63
It shows a much different picture. Several states show rates between 8% and 10%.

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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. You missed a few states
Michigan 8.2
South Carolina 7.6
Rhode Island 9.3

Throw in a few huge population states like Ohio right at 7.2 and I can see how the numbers add up.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. self delete nt
Edited on Fri Jan-09-09 09:09 AM by raccoon




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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. And self-employed contractors like me don't even get counted.
No work since first week of October. No pay, either.

Boss, same deal. No work available. Not counted as unemployed.

I guess, technically the government is correct. Still employed...but have zero income.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. RI is second to MI?
Why is that?
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. I did some checking in to that
There's not a lot of businesses in RI, loss of a few smaller companies that most of us have not heard of would hurt extra hard there. Also, much of their economic activity is in the retail sector, that's been way down. Throw in the loss of tourism, and you've got the recipe for high unemployment in a small area.
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Veritas_et_Aequitas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Bingo.
Just over the border in Massachusetts, we always joked that Rhode Island's chief exports were corruption and organized crime.

Combine your info with the fact that the state has been laying off employees and cutting services for the last 6 months, and we see an even more dire situation.
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. the map's starting point is July '07
so the figures you are looking at are 18 months old. As the poster above pointed out, you have to move the date (drag the lever at the top of the map) to Dec '08 to get the current government reported number.

And as the poster 2 posts above pointed out, the government statistics are skewed. They don't include people who have long fallen off unemployment, returned to school because their old trade has unexpectedly died, are living in their cars or on the street so can't be reached by phone surveys, are slowly drowning PhD's earning minimum wage, and so on.

A more reliable figure would be to count actual employed people filing income taxes, and track that number. They probably do, but are afraid to report it.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. corrected on edit...
Thanks. :-)
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SteelPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's probably quite a bit higher than that
http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data

The 7.2% number is probably the U-3 number which doesn't include so called "discouraged" workers, and also statistically avoids the inner cities too much. The real unemployment number is quite a bit higher. How high? Hard to say... One thing both republican and democratic presidents have been consistent at doing the past 5 decades is tweaking economic data to seem more positive than it actually is, so now any numbers they release are totally propoganda.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Exactly. The official numbers don't count discouraged workers. Also...
The numbers don't account for situations where, say, a person who had a nice $80,000/yr professional job got laid off, and is now flipping burgers or working at Walmart for close to minimum wage. The alternative numbers like the U-6 number, for example, takes those sorts of situations into account, and as you might guess, they're significantly higher.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
10. Because some of those states are huge.
8.4% of the california population is a lot more people than 9.6% of Michigan.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. That's because state unemployment numbers are always a month behind.
Edited on Fri Jan-09-09 09:16 AM by Zynx
Also, we have at least two states with unemployment over 7.2% which are Michigan and Rhode Island.

EDIT: Also, use that scroller to get to Nov. '08. There are a lot of states over 7%.
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jpljr77 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
13. Apples to oranges. The states compute in a different way and lag the Federal #s
Also, the Department of Labor releases their "alternative" measures of unemployment each month along with the headline number.

For December, the official unemployment rate was 7.2%. When discouraged workers and other "marginally attached" workers -- i.e., those that have given up looking but want to work, and don't qualify to be included in the headline number -- are included, the rate goes to 8.3%.

When you take that number and add workers that are forced to work part time but want full time work, the number is a very firghtening 13.5%.

Economists generally agree that the "real" unemployment rate is somewhere between those last two measures, in other words, between 8.3% and 13.5%. Bad times.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

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