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August 26, 2009

Atlanta Federal Reserve Chief: Real Unemployment Rate is 16%
Update: CBO Now Projects an 2.3 Million Additional Unemployed Next Year, On Top of Already-Expected Millions

Every time a good unemployment rate was reported for Bush (which was for all but about a year of his term), the media relentlessly claimed the numbers were far higher when one considered "discouraged workers."

That's ass-backwards, though. When employment is high, the unemployment rate overstates unemployment, as previously unemployed non- or semi-workers are lured into the labor pool. When employment is low -- as it is now -- the unemployment rate understates unemployment. Not only are no situational-type workers joining the workforce -- they stay well clear of it -- but many workers either give up looking after a while or are "employed," but only part-time.

Well, we finally have a bit of data on the real unemployment rate under President Jesus H. Executive, and it's a doozy.

But don't expect to hear this repeated by anyone in the media again.

he real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday.

"If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking -- so-called discouraged workers -- and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.


He underscored that he was expressing his own views, which did "do not necessarily reflect those of my colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee," the policy-setting body of the central bank.

...

Lockhart, who heads the Atlanta, Georgia, division of the Fed, is the first central bank official to acknowledge the depth of unemployment amid the worst US recession since the Great Depression.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

2.3 Million More Distractions: Sweet.

And in related news, Chris Matthews wants to know why Obama's not getting credit for this miraculous economic turnaround we're all enjoying.






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