Jobs lost, hope lost, misery increases

The idiot media (what I call the mainstream media) touts that the unemployment rate remained the same in December.

But looking beneath the headlines, you see that the actual number of jobs in the country sank by 85,000 in December. The unemployment rate remained unchanged because the number of people who gave up looking for work also rose.

As has been the case for the past 6 months of unemployment rates, the rate is being suppressed by the number of people who have completely left the job market. In this case, the actual number of jobs is a better measure of how we’re doing:

The important piece of data is how many darned jobs are there, and it keeps dropping:

(Chart via Innocent Bystanders)

But… the number of people in the country hasn’t dropped, has it…

Here is the rate we should look at – the U6 underutilized labor rate (also sometimes called the misery index):

U-6 Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached                                                                                      
     workers, plus total employed part time for                                                                                         
     economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian                                                                                     
     labor force plus all marginally attached workers..

Shouldn’t that rate be going down, almost a YEAR into Barry’s hot stimulus plan??

But you can add more to it, because the U6 rate doesn’t factor in those who could work but can’t and gave up looking.

So what is the misery index really?  I don’t know – 20, 25%?


  1. “Shouldn’t that rate be going down, almost a YEAR into Barry’s hot stimulus plan??” Good question; how will you answer it with an economically valid analysis? The test is what is the difference between what would have happened without the stimulus and what actually happened with the stimulus. Which answers only the question of the stimulus effect so far. Happily or unhappily, you can pick your own economists to speculate on what would have happened without what the stimulus has done so far. You can also ask your economists how much of the present condition has come from sources beyond the reach of a stimulus. All interesting economic questions where each side in the debate focuses on the economists who agree with the political intuition and leanings of the questioner.

  2. Ken

    January 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    We have projections of what was promised with the stimulus. Well above what we have now.

    I’m sorry, but do you love Democrats and Obama so much that you can’t even say the stimulus has failed? Sad.

    See, those of us not bound by blind love, know it wasn’t a stimulus but a bailout bill for constituent unions and blue states. We expected no positive economic effect, plenty of negative effects, and were proved correct.

  3. Doesn’t a politically valid analysis answer the question too? We knew the answer the minute the hype changed from “jobs gained” to “jobs saved”!

  4. one number never factored in are all those people who were once self-employed but who are now no longer in business – and can’t collect unemployment insurance.

    then of course, there’s all those who’s benefits have ended yet they still haven’t found a job, but they’re also no longer counted.

    25% is likely closer to the real rate unemployment in the USA. another 5% – 10% and we’ll be close to being ripe for armed insurrection.

  5. Ken

    August 31, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Hi Richard – true. And a large part of those self-employed are actually now not out of business but severely “underemployed”. They still have their “job” as a drywaller, but few “jobs” that pay.

    u6 numbers place it near 20%. Add in under employed and you get a misery index in the low 20s.

    armed insurrection… maybe. the government is pretty good at shutting down squeaky wheels that talk that way.

  6. Hello everyone, I haven’t been on over the weekend because I needed a small break. I’ve been doing good and then days where it creeps back. Lately my new problem (it seems like it never ends) is my fear of getting in a relationship and dealing with kids. I guess the fear of commitment scares me and don’t know if I’ll be ready to the point when I go out and see children I get nervous. Is this normal? I feel like Once I overcome one problem my mind thinks up of another strange problem and I start over a new cycle.

Comments are closed.

© 2014 Ken Nelson

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑