Friday, December 02, 2011

The only unemployment chart you need to see today

Courtesy of Calculated Risk -- via Business Insider -- comes a chart that helps illustrate the real unemployment situation.

This is why the situation seems so dire. Why people are walking around in a daze. Why your neighbors are worried and glum.

Forbes editor Vahan Janjigian explains

...the unemployment rate has been very high for quite some time. If you look at the U6 figure [Ed: now 15.6%], which includes people who are working part-time, the underemployed because they can’t find a full-time job, or people who have simply given up looking for work; that figure is always extremely high.

But there is another figure I like to focus on. It is called the participation rate. That figure has really been plummeting... Now this figure is never 100%, because, of course, there are some people who are capable of working who aren’t working. An 18-year-old who is in school, for example, is not going to be working. Someone who chooses to be a stay-at-home mom or dad is not going to be working, or somebody who is 65 years old and retired but is capable of working is not going to be working.

So in a healthy economy, we would expect this figure to be somewhere above 70%. It is currently down at 64%, which means that there are a lot of people who cannot find jobs—they want to be working, they can’t find jobs.

With that context in mind, please consider these headlines:

No matter how the dying, legacy media tries to spin it, no matter how the administration twists arms at the Bureau of Labor Statistics to make things look rosier, the facts are clear:

The American economy is dying under this President.

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