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Actual unemployment is 22% says DailyFinance.com


Over the past 55 years the Federal government keeps changing the definition of “unemployed” to keep the number down. An independent firm claims that 28% of all US households has at least one person looking for a job. This suggests that the rate of unemployed and underemployed individuals is 22%.

From DailyFinance.com

College Grads Serving Fries

Plus, having a job today is quite different from what it was just a few years ago: Many Americans have had their hours cut and are working for less pay. A Pew Research survey found more than half of all adults in the labor force had either lost a job or suffered a reduction in income because of the recession.

Ginsburg says the biggest source of undercounting comes from people who can’t find a full-time job that they’re qualified to do, for instance recent college graduates who take part-time jobs at fast-food joints or retail stores. Today, the Labor Department estimates that 8.6 million people are in this category.

The federal government counts such people as employed. However, polls show that these folks actually consider themselves “unemployed” and “looking for a job,” and probably accounted for a large chunk of TechnoMetrica’s respondents.

Jobless Workers Who Disappear

Another major source of undercounting is the unemployed who’ve given up looking for jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics headline number counts as unemployed only people who have actively looked for a job in the previous four weeks. About 2.6 million people had pursued jobs in the past 12 months but, discouraged by the lack of opportunity, had stopped looking altogether.

“Isn’t it interesting that if you stopped looking for a job, you evaporate as a jobless person and are just not counted,” says Gerald Celente, director of Trends Research Institute in Kingston, N.Y. Celente believes this kind of undercounting has suited the government politically. “It’s what government does: Downplay disasters and amplify success.”

According to the Pew Research Center, a large number of people are out of jobs for a longer period during this economic downturn. The typical unemployed worker today has been out of work for nearly six months. That’s almost double the previous post-World War II peak for this measure, which was 12.3 weeks in 1982-83.

Indeed, if all of the truly unemployed were counted, the rate would be significantly higher. The BLS, in a data point titled “U-6,” says it counted the total unemployment rate in June at 16.5%.