Monday, June 6, 2011

OBAMA CONTINUES TO BE INEFFECTIVE AND RUINOUS - UNEMPLOYMENT REACHING DISASTROUS LEVELS

We Now have Depression Level Unemployment

Washington Blog - June 5th
The commonly-accepted unemployment figures for the Great Depression are overstated.
Specifically, government workers were counted as unemployed by Stanley Lebergott (the BLS economist who put together the most widely used numbers) ... even though gainfully employed and receiving a pay check.
If we're trying to compare current unemployment figures with the Great Depression, the calculations of economists such as Michael Darby are more accurate.



Here is a comparison of Lebergott and Darby's unemployment figures:


YearLebergottDarby

19293.2%3.2%

19308.7%8.7%

193115.9%15.3%

193223.6%22.9%

193324.9%20.6%

193421.7%16.0%

193520.1%14.2%

193616.9%9.9%

193714.3%9.1%

193819.0%12.5%

193917.2%11.3%

194014.6%9.5%

(see Robert A. Margo's Employment and Unemployment in the 1930s.)

We've Got Depression-Level Unemployment

Unemployment is currently underreported. Even government officials admit that their "adjustments" to unemployment figures are inaccurate during recessions.

In addition, the most widely-cited statistics use the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' "U-3" methodology. But "U-6" figures are more accurate, because they include people who would like full-time work, but can only find part-time work, or people who have given up looking for work altogether. U-6 is also is closer to the way unemployment was measured during the Great Depression than U-3

Current levels of unemployment are Depression-level numbers, especially when compared to Darby's figures.

For example, economist John Williams puts current U-6 unemployment at 15.9%. That's higher than 9 out of 12 years charted by Darby.

And there are certainly Depression-level statistics in some states. For example, official Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers put U-6 above 20% in several states:
  • California: 22.0
  • Nevada: 23.7
  • Michigan 20.3
  • (and Los Angeles County has 24.1% unemployment, higher than any of the Depression years as reported by Darby)
Williams puts SGS unemployment - which he claims is the most accurate measure - at 22.3%. That's higher than 11 out of 12 years charted by Darby.

Youngstown State University's Center for Working Class Studies puts the "De Facto Unemployment Rate" at 28.76%. I'm not sure if that compares to methods used during the Great Depression, but it surpasses all 12 out of 12 years charted by Darby.

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