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What do you think the REAL unemployment rate is?

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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:36 PM
Original message
What do you think the REAL unemployment rate is?

You hear 6% or so, others estimate 15%, but I'm not sure anymore.

I'm not working, partially for medical reasons, but I was an employee at another corporation. I had my own corporation for many years.

Once you get laid off, you get on the rolls as "unemployed" but if you were a consultant, you don't count as unemployed. Once your unemployment benefits run out, you're not "unemployed". If you take a lesser-paying job, you're under-employed, but not officially "unemployed".

Some areas (like Detroit) have huge levels of unemployment, other areas (like New Hampshire) have unemployent near normal levels, but if your unemployment runs out and you used to make $110,000 a year, and now make, say, $21,000 as a manager at McDonalds, you're technically not "unemployed" but you're certainly UNDERemployed.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. don't know but, it's all in the
Edited on Sat May-02-09 02:49 PM by G_j
Measurement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment

Though many people care about the number of unemployed, economists typically focus on the unemployment rate. This corrects for the normal increase in the number of people employed due to increases in population and increases in the labor force relative to the population. The unemployment rate is expressed as a percentage, and is calculated as follows:


unemployment rate= unemployed workers/ total work force



As defined by the International Labour Organization, "unemployed workers" are those who are currently not working but are willing and able to work for pay, currently available to work, and have actively searched for work.<23>
Since not all unemployment may be "open" and counted by government agencies, official statistics on unemployment may not be accurate<24>.

The ILO describes 4 different methods to calculate the unemployment rate:<25>

Labour Force Sample Surveys are the most preferred method of unemployment rate calculation since they give the most comprehensive results and enables calculation of unemployment by different group categories such as race and gender. This method is the most internationally comparable.

Official Estimates are determined by a combination of information from one or more of the other three methods. The use of this method has been declining in favor of Labour Surveys.

Social Insurance Statistics such as unemployment benefits, are computed base on the number of persons insured representing the total labour force and the number of persons who are insured that are collecting benefits. This method has been heavily criticized due to the expiration of benefits before the person finds work.

Employment Office Statistics are the least effective being that they only include a monthly tally of unemployed persons who enter employment offices. This method also includes unemployed who are not unemployed per the ILO definition.
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Yeah, but

and maybe I missed something, but if you're unemployed long enough, you drop off the unemployment list.

Further, if you were an officer of a corporation (and a corporation need not be huge - I ran a corporation, but we never had more than 7 employees), you don't count and don't qualify for unemployment.

If you were a consultant, as an independent contractor, you don't count.

If you ran your own business, say, roofing or painting houses, and you can't get work, you don't count.

If you technically ran your own business (as I once found out), you don't count. I recall applying for unemployment once, as I ran my own company, and they asked if I did anything for the company, and I said "well, I answer the phone if it rings, but it doesn't ring", but according to them I was performing business services in the expectation of getting paid, and so I didn't qualify.

I rhink the unemployment numbers leave a huge number of people off the list. I think it's at least double the official number, and if you count the number of underemployed, it's much higher. If you were a high-priced contractor, or lawyer, or consultant, or whatever, and business has evaporated, you're not on the list. If you were a W-2 employee but now work at Wal-Mart or whatever at a fraction of your former pay, you'd not count either.

I'd like to see the IRS publish a yearly total of gross income less certain deductions (like alimony, which I think would otherwise get counted twice); that might be a better indicator.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. I believe the last report I saw was about 8%. This is only counting those
who are currently drawing unemployment checks. There are millions
whose unemployment has run out but they have never found a job.
This would make it more like the 12-15% you mentioned.


'
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. no, the unemployment numbers aren't taken from number of unemployment checks.
they're derived from surveys, & there are 6 measures. by the widest measure, ue, last time i checked, was around 12%. this includes discouraged workers & part-timers who want more hours.
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Take whatever number the official statistics say it is.
The double it.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. If we take your advice.
The real unemployment rate would be 16%.
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that the true figue is about that.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. 732%
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Hey, FruitFly

No offense... but WTF are you talking about? Or are you just being sarcastic?
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. (shrug) Since the "true" number is always higher than any number anyone says...
I just thought I'd start high, and be done with it.
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm putting on my flame suit now.
I know I will catch hell here, but I can't see it being below at least 25% in a lot of places.

It's common to hear of a call center opening up with 250 positions and getting 5,000 applicants, or a Sam's Club opening up with 350 positions and getting 7,500 applicants. If the unemployment rate was as low as the government says it is, you wouldn't have hordes of people applying for these $8/hr. jobs.
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
11. Here's a Link to the Labor Department...they say 16%
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

That 16% includes alot of what's been pointed out here...underemployed...unemployed, "discouraged" unemployed...etc...

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Thanks, that's the definitive number for march. that means over 16% for april, i bet.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
13. 15% to 16.5%
not counting underemployment.

I'd guess that with underemployment factored in, it's closer to 30% or 40%.
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. I only know what I see and hear....not scientific... but...
In Florida... unemployment has to be up wards of 30%-50%. Not scientific.. but if you talk to 100 people.. 50 will be unemployed.

Construction is virtually shut down. Every other restaurant on the main highway is out of business. Strip shopping centers are standing vacant mile after mile.

Even the Mexicans have left. Went back home for more opportunity as what jobs are left will be shipped to Mexico.

The Bush crime family perpetrated the biggest mortgage scam in the history of the US.

Does anyone remember when Papa Bush was in office and we had the Savings and Loan crisis? The Bush family robbed the coffers and the American People (Resolution Trust Corporation) had to Bail out the country.

Same scam and same modus operandi from George W. He sucked the lifeblood out of this country via the banking system and now he has blended into the background, while the media blames the victims.

Americans will never learn.
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