(didn’t mean to rant when I first started this… but this stuff really bugs me)
I’m in Utah, which is where this article comes from: Utah unemployment rate drops to 6.3 percent. I clicked over because I find anything under 9% to be remarkable.
I recently read that “Detroit’s Unemployment Rate is Nearly 50%, According to the Detroit News” (and here is the Detroit News link).
Which seems more believable? 6.3% or 50%?
In Utah, a state economist is giving the number, and the article even says this “may mark a turning point in the state’s economic recovery.”
This bothers me (more on that later).
In Detroit, the mayor said (click the link to see it there) “the city’s official unemployment rate was as believable as Santa Claus.” (sorry for the spoiler on next week’s main event)
Who is to believe, the state economist with the good news, or the mayor of a city (an elected official) with the grim thought?
Surprisingly, I’m siding with the elected official. To the state employee’s defense, though, he is only reporting on a certain kind of statistic that was predefined… so he’s just doing his job.
THIS STATISTIC (unemployment rate) IS FLAWED, MISLEADING, AND DECEPTIVE.
To the average Joe or Jane Worker, the unemployment rate seems to be the number of people who can’t get a job.
Unfortunately, the way unemployment is measured, it’s not that simple. The official unemployment rate does not take into consideration “those who gave up the job search more than a year ago,” which, according to the Detroit News, could be more than 100,000 potential workers in Detroit.
100,000 workers. And their families, and other dependents. And their bill collectors.
Why are they left out of the unemployment numbers?
As far as I know, unemployment numbers are based on those who are reporting to the government — those who are collecting unemployment insurance.
Guess what… unemployment insurance RUNS OUT. And then, you are so worthless, you aren’t even counted as a statistic! You are essentially written off the books.
Yeah, this really gets under my skin. And we aren’t even talking about UNDEREMPLOYED people!!
I gotta stop blogging because this makes me so mad… but I’ll leave it with this one thought:
Aside from the sad fact that there are human beings on the other side of these numbers, the scary thing is that the government is making decisions based on these numbers. Unemployment rising or lowering is virtually meaningless to me, as it paints an incomplete picture.