If We Measure Unemployment the Way We Did in the 1930s, Today’s Unemployment Would Be Worse Than Any Single Year During the Great Depression.

Over the years, how we define “unemployment” has been massaged and restricted in such a way that the term does not mean what most people think that it means—that is, people who would like to work who are out of work.

For instance, the long term unemployed are not counted in today’s unemployment statistics. Nor are the underemployed or those who have chosen to go on disability.

*There is debate as to whether those who fall off unemployment rolls (due to their benefits running out) are counted as unemployed or not. Regardless of this point, however, the statistic we are told represents the current state of joblessness in this country (the “unemployment rate), simply does not tell the whole story. Some would say it doesn’t even attempt to tell the correct story (and there is a distinction.)

The below information comes from the folks at Shadowstats.com, a great website which compiles the real numbers in the economy, not the politically correct ones.

We are in a depression.

26 comments
hse
hse

Unemployment is a headache that has plagued many nations for years and Today the rates have just boost up.

UPdrafter
UPdrafter

How was the way it was measured in the 30's different from today? 

savesthedy
savesthedy

How was it measured in the 1930s? What was the difference in comparison to today?

cbboo44
cbboo44

This article is straight up incorrect. Unemployment is still defined as those unemployed searching for work - it has nothing to do with those collecting unemployment insurance. You are considered out of the workforce (and therefore not counted) if you are not actively searching for work. Keyword: actively. That is why sometimes we see the unemployment rate rise after employment growth strengthens, as those who had given up their job search start looking again and therefore re-enter the workforce. 

Glenn Ballard
Glenn Ballard

If you consider UNDEREMPLOYMENT, many people are making less relative to the cost of living, than in 1930.

Jason Ward
Jason Ward

Barack Obama sweeps the poorest Americans under the rug and then walks on them for his own political gain.

Sharon Cosentino
Sharon Cosentino

when bush was in it was 5.4%, lot less than now where the actual rate is 14 - 15 %

Jeff Roland
Jeff Roland

At the bottom of this article someone wonders what the rate was between2000-2008, seems to me that is STILL blame BUsh mentality. GET OVER IT I don't care what happened 4 to12 years ago except the screw up in 2008 that we will cure on Tuesday.

brooks1428
brooks1428

would love to see the numbers for 2000-2008 as well!  The government is so twisted, it's pathetic.  We need Gary Johnson, someone who actually has a no-brainer of a plan to fix it!  

RalphBrown
RalphBrown

90% of what our govt. does is SCAMMING THEIR CITIZENS!

William Dedee
William Dedee

Yes, God is using the foolish things (a puff of wind) to shame the wise (ignorant minds and cold hearts ).

Joe Reesman
Joe Reesman

yes its probably about 14% in reality.

Andrew M Wong
Andrew M Wong

I find it amazing (if it weren't so tragic due to the lives lost, I would use the word amusing) how crippled NYC, the financial capital of the Earth, is in the face of inanimate nature. The Masters of the Universe market traders indeed!

ACuriousCitizen101
ACuriousCitizen101

This article completely sidsteped that issue. After making an argument about how different it is now from then, you would think they would explain the difference.

harmondave
harmondave

 @cbboo44 That's simply not true. The Official BLS figure for U3 is specifically for those that are collecting Unemployment Insurance. If you are not collecting Unemployment Insurance you are considered either "Marginally Employed" or out of the workforce.

Kazriko
Kazriko

 @brooks1428 If you go to the Shadow Stats site, they have those numbers on a chart for 2005-2008 at least. They're in the 12-14% range. 

RD Williams
RD Williams

 @RalphBrown That's because "We The People" are supposed to BE the government, but we're too lazy and complacent.

 

ACuriousCitizen101
ACuriousCitizen101

Actually, this is not correct. The BLS Uses the Current Population Survey to generate the unemployment rate. They do not use unemployment insurance claims for the U3 (or any other unemployment rate). The BLS produces monthly estimates of the unemployment rate. Nationally, this is done through the CPS. State and sub state rates are generated through mathmatical models based on the CPS and an assortment of locally provided data (such as the current employment statistics program, unemployment insurance claims, and other factors). The U3 is based on the CPS and is calculated on a monthly and annual basis (4 quarter moving average). The U3 is most similar to the local area unemployment statistics number that you see reported monthly as the "official" unemployment rate. There are actually 6 (U1-U6) different alternative measures of labor underutilization that the BLS produces.

harmondave
harmondave

@ACuriousCitizen101 You are incorrect sir. U3 is based upon Unemployed persons that are properly unemployed and on the Unemployment roster. Thusly, collecting Unemployment.

Then you give links that describe exactly what I just stated. What you are trying to say is that U6 is calculated that way, which it is, U3 is an abstraction from the total data set of U6. Read the links and do the math, you will get it.


ACuriousCitizen101
ACuriousCitizen101

Here are a few links that explain how they are calculated. Nationally- http://www.bls.gov/cps/ , State and Sub State- http://www.bls.gov/lau/lauov.htm , U3 and other Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization (natoinal and state level)- http://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm . If you want more information, contct your state workforce agency and ask for the Local Area Unemployment Statistics analyst or contact the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I am sure they would be more then happy to tell you about how things are calculated and what changes have been made over the years.

ACuriousCitizen101
ACuriousCitizen101

The BLS also publishes all their data (back to 1976 for most things) on their website. You can look up the "official" unemployment rate as well as 6 other published measures of underemployment (look up Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization- http://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm)