Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Real unemployment at 11%!

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post is finally catching up to what Jame Pethokoukis of Reuters wrote about back in July in understanding the real numbers of Obama’s unemployment reign:

Typically, I try to tie the beginning of Wonkbook to the news. But today, the most important sentence isn't a report on something that just happened, but a fresh look at something that's been happening for the last three years. In particular, it's this sentence by the Financial Times' Ed Luce, who writes, "According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent."

Remember that the unemployment rate is not "how many people don't have jobs?", but "how many people don't have jobs and are actively looking for them?" Let's say you've been looking fruitlessly for five months and realize you've exhausted every job listing in your area. Discouraged, you stop looking, at least for the moment. According to the government, you're no longer unemployed. Congratulations?

As Rush described yesterday, “This is one of the biggest apologists for Obama you will find. This is one of the biggest in-the-tank for Obama guys out there writing that the real unemployment rate's 11%, and Obama's out there now saying, by the way, "It's gonna be 8% by the time the election comes around." He said it's gonna be 8%. Of course it is. He runs the numbers! Of course it's gonna be 8%, but it won't really be 8%. We've been telling you for longer than a month, folks, that the universe of jobs has been shrinking, and this is the secret behind the unemployment rate dropping -- when it really, really isn't”

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