Monday, November 23, 2009

Are unemployment rates accurate?

According to the Sunday, November 15, 2009, edition of the Detroit Free Press (, the following are the ten states with the top unemployment rates:
  • Michigan 15.3%
  • California 12.2%
  • Florida 11.0%
  • Illlinois 10.6%
  • North Carolina 10.9%
  • Georgia 10.1%
  • New Jersey 9.8%
  • Washington 9.3%
  • New York 8.9%
  • Texas 8.2%
The national unemployment rate is greater than 10%.

Of course we have to realize that the real unemployment rate may be greater than or less than this. Why do I say this? Well, you have to consider that there are many Americans -- I know of at least three -- work only in the summer, get laid off, and collect unemployment benefits for a living each winter.

Your certainly not going to get rich living this way, but if that's the kind of life you are comfortable living, it's certainly available. The government set up this program to help people who are laid off, although unemployment gives many people an excuse not to work.

Personally I think unemployment is a good thing, although I think it needs to be refined to make sure people aren't abusing it. I think there should be limits to how many times it can be utilized. I don't think people should be able to live off it year after year.

Then again, there are also many Americans who want to work but are no longer listed as unemployed. These are people who have been unemployed for so long they are no longer listed as unemployed, and those who have been looking for jobs so long they now have part time or temporary jobs.

So, adjusted for this, the real unemployment rate in the U.S. is actually listed at 17%. However, considering what I wrote above about people living off unemployment, I would have to "surmise" that the unemployment rates stated by the Federal government -- the rates listed above -- are probably rather accurate.
What do you think?

1 comment:

DAVE said...

I'm not quite sure what's being said here. The figures at the top show the ten states with the highest unemployment rate in the country while the 17% figure reflects the national unemployment rate including those who fallen off the rolls for various reasons. So are we being told here that Georgia, with a 10.1% unemployment rate has an additional 6.9% of it's population unemployed but they are "seasonal" workers? If so isn't that a bit simplistic? Not to mention that the 17% figure is a national figure while the ten above are state figures, sort of like comparing apples to oranges? You might want to consider the landscaping business which has seasonal swings I'm sure many of those seasonal workers found themselves unemployed this summer and have exhausted their benefits and will not be relaxing this winter so are they unemployed or non-existent? I think we are in a National/Global recession unless you work in one of the industries that caused this problem or on Wall Street. The so called "Global" corporations based in this country have been sending American jobs overseas for years now and will continue to do so because their concerns are global and all about their bottom line not local or national. I think you'll see all of our job and mortgage troubles magically disappear once America and the bulk of it's populace are reduced to third world status.