Blogs » A Constitutionalist & Believer in Natural Law » Unemployment And The Complete Story

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We recently heard or read that the average national unemployment was 9.4 % of the labor force; the highest rate since 1983. But did we hear the complete story?

The official rate of 9.4 % rate for May is the U-3 rate measurement. Why was the U-6, the alternate measurement not in the fore forth of the news report could be a political move, I don’t know. Actually the U-6 measurement has not been used in the general news media for a number of years.

The U-3 measurement doesn't include the 3.7 million-plus people who are reluctantly working only part time because of they cannot find full-time positions. And it doesn't include the workers who have given up scouring want ads for seemingly nonexistent jobs. It doesn't look at former full-time staff employees who have accepted short-term contracts, without benefits, and at a fraction of their former salaries. And it doesn't count the many would-be workers who are going back to school, taking on more debt, in hopes that an advanced degree will improve their chances of landing a job. And to be truthfully, the U-6 measurement does not include ALL these people. The U-6 measurement does not only include the U-3 measurement, but also people who are not fully employed and desire to be fully employed.

We also have the issue of data of unemployed individuals in sexual, racial, age, and veterans groups. Briefly the May U-3 seasonal adjusted unemployment rates shows that American African/Black rates are higher than American European/White rates. No surprises there. I wish that the differences were minor, but the areas that American African/Blacks work are often the hardest hit in a slow economy. And racial prejudices cannot be ruled out. White/American Europeans females age 20 and over have the lowest level of unemployment at 6.9 %. Actually females appear to have lower unemployment rates than males in racial groups data was collected. Black/American Africans age 16-19 have the highest rates of unemployment at 39.4 %, an embarrassing high in my opinion. The unemployment U-3 rates for Black/American African males over 20, 16.8 %; Black/African females over 20, 11.2%; and White/American European males over 20, 6.9%. The data for American Asians is not seasonal adjusted; however ,the average unemployment is 6.9%. I have not been able to find recent data that isolate the rates for Hispanics and veterans, which many of us would like to know.

The U-6 unemployment measurement for May 2009 is 16.4%. This measurement while more accurate than the U-3 measurement, does not diminish the fact that unemployment is too high. Thank God, it is not even close to the Great Depression calculated U-6 unemployment rate of 37.6%.

I consistently question government figures, because they often do not provide the complete story.