This Chart Is A True Picture Of the Unemployment Crisis In America

Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

Wolf Richter
Saturday, March 22, 2014

The unemployment rate is a complex measure based on surveys and some grotesque definitions, including who gets counted as “unemployed.” These definitions eliminate millions of jobless people from the list of the officially “unemployed.” The resulting grotesque data – grotesque in, grotesque out – is then adjusted to paper over nagging real-world issues, such as seasonality. The result is a number that is easy to toss around during speeches but hard to use for gauging what’s really going on in the labor market.

The unemployment rate’s inability to accurately portray the labor market has caught so much flak that even the Fed abandoned it as a trigger for unwinding its zero-interest-rate policy. Instead, it will “take into account a wide range of information….”

OK, the Fed has other reasons for throwing off the self-imposed yoke. It certainly wouldn’t want to be pushed by that single number into depriving its cronies on Wall Street of their free-money elixir. Whatever its reasons, it threw out the unemployment rate. And that’s a good thing. It’s a useless number.

But the Bureau of Labor statistics and other entities produce other measures of the labor market, and overall, we know what’s going on.

And what’s going on is still a fiasco.

The Rest…HERE

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