Friday, May 07, 2010

On The Margin: Total Unemployment April 2010

Today’s Employment Situation report showed that in March “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers increased to 17.1% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate increased to 9.9%.

The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit qualification of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers “marginally attached” workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employment to be “underutilized” labor.

The broadest view of unemployment would include both traditionally unemployed workers and all other underutilized workers.

To calculate the “total” rate of unemployment we would simply use this larger group rather than the smaller and more restrictive “unemployed” group used in the traditional unemployment rate calculation.

1 comment:

  1. Voxpopuli4:17 PM

    The employment figures that are cited in Congress are provided by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor statistics (www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm). April’s accounting indicates that we have a 9.9% unemployment rate based upon a 154.715 million civilian labor force capability, which means that we now have 15.260 million unemployed. This does not address the “marginally attached” addition as you stated.
    Considering that last month employers hired only 290,000 workers, while 15.26 million are unemployed, the ratio of unemployed to hires is actually 52:1. Should you consider the “marginally attached” a total of 26.5 million, the ratio is then 90:1. It is no wonder that seekers are finding prospective employment opportunities to be nearly impossible.
    Nothing will economically change until our government recognizes that the consumers control this country; not the banks, stock brokers, insurance companies or other businesses. Nothing in business happens until somebody buys something.
    Revitalizing the US economy is paramount to all expenditures if we desire some semblance of peace and international symbiosis.
    Although I recognize the financial paradox of a tier V UI program for future generations; tier V is an investment in our future stability and security as a nation, it will put money back into the economy at the point of the consumer which will create the need for business to hire and expand.
    As for the actual funding; our laws are suppose to protect us from harm, we should litigate, prosecute and recover our losses from those that knowingly perpetrated the acts of theft that caused this near depression. Take their bank accounts, stock holdings, cars, boats, airplanes, homes, everything they own and put them in jail. In one word, restitution.

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