The Real Unemployment Rate

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Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The sugar coated headline unemployment rate reported by the government is completely bogus. The real unemployment rate buried in the Federal Government’s data tables, including discouraged workers and those who are considered marginally attached or working part-time because they cannot find full time work, is now 12.2%, the highest it has been in 15 years. This number is up 33% over the past 12 months.

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For those egonomists who claim that this is nothing like the Great Depression, because then the unemployment rate was 25%, stick this in your pipe and smoke it. Where was the unemployment rate in 1930, the year after the market crashed? According to the BLS, the unemployment rate for all of 1930 was 8.9%. Admittedly, there’s no information on how that statistic was calculated, but those economists who say that today’s recession is nothing like the Great Depression. By this one measure at least, given the timing. Today’s deterioration is at least as rapid, and probably more rapid, than the beginning of the Great Depression.