Skip to comments.America's hidden unemployed: too discouraged to count
Posted on 09/23/2012 8:07:11 AM PDT by LadyEleanor
Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America's population. The size of the shift underscores the severity of the jobs crisis.
If all those so-called discouraged jobseekers had remained in the labor force, August's jobless rate of 8.1 percent would have been 10.5 percent.
The jobs crisis spurred the Federal Reserve last week to launch a new bond-buying program and promise to keep it running until the labor market improves. It also poses a challenge to President Barack Obama's re-election bid.
The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one has fallen by an unprecedented 2.5 percentage points since December 2007, slumping to a 31-year low of 63.5 percent.
"We never had a drop like that before in other recessions. The economy is worse off than people realize when people just look at the unemployment rate," said Keith Hall, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.
The participation rate would be expected to hold pretty much steady if the economy was growing at a normal pace. Only about a third of the drop in the participation rate is believed to be the result of the aging U.S. population.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Look for a 'clarification' article on Tuesday to, at a minimum, add words to BLAME BUSH.
And miraculously, the next jobs report will have the rate down to 7.8%.
OK...I will make this statement again. All these so-called
economists who claim that folks have stopped looking for jobs are obviously basing their assumptions on the fact folks may not be using state DOL offices or websites. The issue in the job market today is 95% of job openings require the applicant to apply by computer (email..etc.). Employers very seldom ever reply. Even when they do and interview an applicant, seldom does the employer contact or reply to applicant followup enquiry. Personally I think some folks are interviewed just to “pad the books” for DOL quarterly reports. Conventionally accepted employment methods are like sticking your hand blindly into a fish tank filled with piranha and pulling out a goldfish.
Must be all of those new fangled ATM machines.
"They will say they are not doing anything, even as they have a job and are being paid under the table," said O'Keefe, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Labor Department. "We do not know to what extent that is going on."
We ask for a list of their income and expenses and proof of income. It is unusual for the income to cover the expenses. In many cases an applicant will list zero income.
In these cases we ask a standard question, "How are you paying your bills." Answers I've heard recently:
My family is helping me out
I do odd jobs on the side
I clean houses
I pick up aluminum cans
It is very rare to have the question answered with, "Nothing."
While I thank you for the job you’re doing, I certainly don’t envy you.
My wife works for the ‘unemployment office’ and deals with real economic human tragedy every day. She and her team are quite good at getting people off of unemployment and back to work, but she still has to deal with the chronically unemployed and some very sad cases.
We have a limit on food of every six weeks. I admit it can get discouraging to interview people who are there every six weeks on the dot asking for food.
The flip side is that I've learned all sorts of really creative ways to cheat on food stamps and how to get on "disability" (SSI) when there is nothing wrong with you.
The only real complaint I have about this volunteer job is that the organization seems more interested in handouts rather than hand ups.
Fewer than one in six unemployed I know is officially counted. The others exhausted unemployment benefits, never took them or gave up in disgust.
What percentage of the cases do you think are legitimate, and what percentage of those seeking assistance are mooching?
The Baraqqi Depression grinds on.
The only thing that keeps it from looking like the 1930s is that the govt is funding all the assistance by printing money.
Spending $1.40 for every 1.00 in receipts.
Our area has been and continues to have a very depressed job market. My wife estimates that 85% are legitimate and 15% are the true deadbeats.
AND, it doesn’t need to be this way.
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