Those who have filed for unemployment, allow benefits to run the course without finding a job already know that when you call the unemployment office that one extra time...hoping to slip in one more $300 check request....the recording tells you that you are no longer listed as "unemployed."
This is a good economy however, according to the White House.
Update: July 2004|
U.S. Labor Department numbers for June 2004 show that national unemployment remains unchanged at 5.6 percent.
No offense to those living in North Dakota, where the unemployment
rate is 3.4 percent, but a strong economy is more reflective of the populated states... here is a look at some numbers from June 2004 using Labor Department figures.
No offense to those living in North Dakota, where the unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, but a strong economy is more reflective of the populated states... here is a look at some numbers from June 2004 using Labor Department figures.
Alaska has the highest state unemployment at 7.3 percent. The actual number of professionals out of work is not tracked by the Labor Department.
2003 Unemployment Rates by Country: U.S. rate includes those off unemployment benefits, which is how E.U. countries measure their true unemployment.
Job creation is a hot topic during this election year; and while the White House statisticians report the lowest unemployment rate in 14-months, during President George W Bush's reign the economy has lost 2.3 million professional jobs.
No matter which political party owns the White House, keeping the true numbers of unemployed artificially low boosts the perception of job creation and economic growth. And there are some fun number games you can play to help the process along, including: Not counting the actual number of people who file for unemployment benefits.
One would think an accurate count of unemployed could come from 350,000-plus workers per week who file new jobless claims, but that is not how the government counts the tiny fraction of workers who lose their jobs.
If you got to John's grocery story on Main Street and count his red apples for sale, and assume he alone represents quantity and price of apples across all grocery stores in the state...that is the method used by The Bureau of Labor Statistics at present.
Have you been called by the Bureau for its monthly survey? Statistically speaking we should all receive a call from them at some point. Don't hold your breath. But aside from the survey, there are ways to make the unemployed picture look better than it actually is given the pool of unemployed logged by BLS computer systems, and collected through benefit notification and IRS data records. The numbers could be skewed in favor of the White House just as in the example ahead.
Simple formula to understand unemployment rate calculation:
Let us use simple terms -- for this example 10 weeks of employment benefits -- statistically it does not matter how many weeks benefits are given. We've used the same data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to re-introduce professionals into the workforce; with equally shorter time to compensate for lost benefits.
With a group of 100 professional men and women (non-farm labor,) working for a variety of different corporations, at the first of month No. 1, 4 percent of these professionals are cut. With 96 people employed, 4 people are on unemployment benefits for the next 10 weeks. And our unemployment rate is 4 percent.
At the first of month No.2, two more people are laid off... six people are on unemployment benefits for the next 10 weeks, and six weeks respectively. While 94 people are employed the unemployment rate has risen to 6 percent.
Month No.3, four of our original 100 lose their benefits, so, 96 people are counted in the pool. Three people are laid off and our total of unemployed professionals stands at five, but the unemployment rate has dropped from month No.2, to 5 percent without anyone having found a new job.
Month No.4; great news two people have found jobs (one from month No.2,) two people are laid off, but we have a second readjustment to the number of employed, because only the two hired now count. With 95 people in the pool, our unemployment rate holds steady at 5 percent.
Month No.5; more great news two people found jobs! One person fell off the benefits, three people are laid off and now, we only have 94 people to measure. The unemployment rate holds steady at 5 percent.
Month No. 6, no new jobs this month with our 94 people. Two people were laid off. We loose two people on benefits. We have five people on benefits in total, and now with only 92 people to measure, our unemployment rates holds at 5 percent.
Month No. 7; excellent news two people were hired this month! Three were laid off. Four people live on benefits and one person fell off. And our unemployment rate has fallen to 4 percent while the number of people on benefits is at the lowest in six months.
With a 4 percent unemployment rate, anyone could claim this is super news. Except an important factor misses the equation. Our total of employed professionals from the original 100 has dropped to 88. Four live on benefits and from the original 100 people, the actual unemployment rate is 12 percent.... or three times greater than month No.7 shows.
While this example must not be taken to mean the BLS statistics should be multiplied by three, this model simply uses numbers to understand how the rate may appear positive, when in fact it does not provide an accurate picture of trends.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the true number of unemployed in the United States tops 16 million at the end of 2003. The number of professionals in part-time or freelance work while waiting-out their job hunt is 4.9 million, and 1.5 million professionals seek jobs due to imminent layoffs, added too 9 million already unemployed -- the US-unemployment is the highest in 20 years. The actual percentage of "unemployed" in the United States is 9.7 percent, up .3 percent from 2002.
While democrats attempt to take the White House in 2004, candidates have hopped on the rhetoric of "creating jobs," although like the "official" numbers of unemployed is false, so it is too false that any single president would create substantial job growth. The only White House responsible for job creation was Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration.
Meanwhile, President George W Bush claims he is creating jobs. At one Maryland Home Depot, Bush said, "More workers are going to work, over 380,000 have joined the workforce in the last couple of months.
"We've overcome a lot," Bush said. What he didn't say is that during the month of November, 2003, new job losses held steady at 365,000 per week.
Home Depot has little use for professional men and women, and most jobs at the home improvement giant pay between $5.10- $11.40 per hour.
During the past nine presidencies, whichever party owned the White House lost when the unemployment rate rose during the first half of [his] election year. If the unemployment rate fell, he won.
With 2 million professional jobs lost since 2001, no matter how well the economy recovers during 2004, Bush will either end his term or begin his second term with a net job loss.
Economists are stunned that the media-hyped "booming economy" has actually produced few jobs.
The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that they do not understand why the economy isn't looking better. If you only take what the White House says, you'd think we are in great shape, but that simply isn't true, said Richard Freeman, director of labor studies.
The percentage of employed adults in the United States reached a high of 65 percent in April 2000 during a surging stock market; however that percentage fell to 61 percent in September 2003, the lowest in 10 years. However, the 4 percentage drop of employed adults translate to a total unemployment rate of 8 percent -- and yet during the Bush administration -- the unemployment rate has held around 6 percent.
Where are the unemployed men and women in the United States? Are there 5 million idle millionaires who simply care not to work and thus miss the statistical counters? One way in which people drop out of the unemployed category is to declare themselves "disabled," which makes them eligible for government payments without being counted as "unemployed."
During the past 23 years the number of professional workers receiving disability payments rose from 3.8 million to 7.7 million. Disability payments have also increased overall, cushioning the blow of losing a job and unemployment benefits. Men whom contract HIV qualify for full-time disability, as would anyone physically or emotionally injured on the job.
Additional reasons that professionals drop-out of the market is due to disinterest or depression. Workers will stop looking for work officially -- thus fall off the government's tally -- return to school, work for cash, or work for temp agencies in order to "wait out" the economic depression.