Thought for the Day: August 2, 2011

If you include the people who have gotten so discouraged that they have temporarily stopped looking for work, and those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time work (i.e. the “U6” unemployment measure) and others without jobs who want them, then the current unemployment rate is not the 9.2% reported in the news, but actually 16.2%.

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One Response to Thought for the Day: August 2, 2011

  1. S.E. says:

    Even the U6 number largely obscures the true nature of unemployment in this country – which is that it is largely, if not entirely, confined to those without a high school education. Taking a closer look at the numbers you see that the unemployment rate for those with a Bachelor’s degree is pretty much right at full employment, and for those with a professional degree (who said there was a legal market labor problem) unemployment is downright nonexistent.

    The fact that unemployment is localized where it is should not surprise anyone with two wits to rub together. Over the past two (maybe three?) decades the bulk of jobs have transitioned from those that merely required experience and presence to perform to those that require advanced technical training. Our economy is more efficient and skill-oriented than any other in the world, and the labor problems we face are largely generational in nature. After the fog of the low-skill employment bubble was lifted by the housing crash, it was and is plain to see that we simply don’t need as many people to do what we were doing before, and we certainly don’t need anywhere near as many people without those skills provided by advanced education. This problem is systemic, not cyclical, and our political system seems incapable of addressing it.

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