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Unemployment Statistics….

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.”

Jim retorted:

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?

Mama said

The Shirelles:


Finally, voters are connecting the dots:

(Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany’s most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.

She remains popular in Germany for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party’s defeat leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.

ccording to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.8 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12.2 percent.

Mama tried

Grateful Dead:

Sweet baby James

James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks:

Child of mine

Carole King:


What determines how much you need, and when you need it.

The feet of a dancer

Charlie McGettigan:

I’ll always love my mama

Happy Mother’s Day! The Intruders:

Baby mine

Bonnie Raitt with the song from “Dumbo”:

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