I hear all kinds of numbers when the unemployment figures for the U.S.A. are discussed. To listen to someone that has never studied statistics explain to me an unemployment rate, how a statistic is calculated and all about the “shell game” involved and all nefarious conspiracies that go along with the unemployment figures can be a bit frustrating, but, then I just see the entertainment value I am getting in a bad situation.
In any statistical analysis, method, variables and other “messy” stuff come into play. Jim Stratton at the Orlando Sentinel had a reader that wasn’t buying into the drop in unemployment in Florida…..
“The government has manipulated how they count the unemployed,” he wrote in an email. “Since I don’t currently receive unemployment checks, I’m not counted. There are plenty of others like me.”
To determine the statewide jobless rate, officials do not simply report the number of people receiving unemployment. That would understate the problem because fewer than 35 percent of those out of work qualify for jobless benefits.
Instead, officials combine state data with the findings of a national monthly survey of about 60,000 households. The federal survey asks who has a job, who is out of work and who is looking for work.
Method or madness? Maybe both. Scandal or conspiracy? Naw. Just folks trying to persuade.
But, then we have people using all kinds of numbers when it is convenient. Apparently, Joe Biden and the President will use different numbers according to the Washington Post. There seems to be a bit of confusion about “overall” job growth and private sector job growth. Private sector growth seems to be pretty OK, sad to say the “overall” job growth is tepid, mostly due to public sector losses. Public Sector mean firemen, teachers, folks like that.
Let’s check in with the numbers by the folks a little “Right of the Dial”. According to biased sources the web site Shadow Government Statistics webmaster, John Williams, is a self proclaimed statistician that he said he spread his sage advice and observations to the New York Times and Business Investor’s Weekly. No articles written by him have been found in either publication. But, just for giggles here is his latest statistics. John Williams says it is around 23%. That is pretty close to the Depression of the 30’s, which was around 25% at peak. He didn’t explain his method.
Well, there are several ways the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates unemployment figures. It’s a scale system adding in more factors, starting with “U3” to “U6.” Moving up the scale factors are added like, available to work, working part time instead of full time, and the category of “marginally attached.”
My conclusion: The job market still sucks. Spruill County is at 10.5% (not seasonally adjusted.) Seasonally adjusted. Another variable. My cousins in Whitfield County are at 12.5% . I can make it anecdotal. I am still looking for a job. Thank heavens, Daddylonglegs and I saw the crash coming.
I look at all these austerity measures in place in Europe and the results of austerity in Britain as double dip recession in Britain and I have to think, why the heck would that work here? I mean, for real?