U.S. Unemployment Rate Woefully Understated

 

 

By Scott Myers, Contributor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported in a recent news release that the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9% (12.6 million) for September, 2020.  The size of US workforce as of 9/2020 was 160.14 million.

But there is more to the story if one hopes to understand the true unemployment and under-employment situation in this country.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported in that same news release:

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (involuntary part-time workers) as 6.3 million.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job, is 7.2 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively
looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job.

Another news release for from the Department of Labor shows the following:

The number of persons (summarized in the table below)claiming Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits in all programs for the week of 9/26/2020 = 25.3 million.

Therefore, a much closer measure of the unemployment rate is15.8% (25.3 million/160.14 million), not 7.9%.

It is discouraging that our own government positions the very understated 7.9% as the official unemployment rate.  It is extremely misleading.  One has to ‘dig into the fine print’ to get the fuller and more disturbing story about what is going on in our economy during the Coronavirus pandemic.

By now, we all know about businesses that will never reopen because of the inept handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by the Federal government.  How many more shutter their doors remains to be seen.

It is clear that the currently empowered Federal government is much more concerned with protecting the wealth of the 1-percenters than doing what is right for the tens of millions of folks directly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Note that on February 12, 2020 the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) reached its all-time high of 29,551.  On October 16, 2020 it closed at 28,606, down just 3.2% from that all-time high.  It is as if COVID never happened in this alternate reality of the rich

And right now the only thing that matters in the Senate is confirming another U. S. Supreme Court justice before the November 3 election.  Who do our elected representatives represent? Apparently not the vast majority of us – just the very rich and powerful.

Well, election season is here.  It’s time to make things better.  See you at the ballot box.

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