Unemployment Numbers: It Could Be Worse
By aaroncynic in News on Dec 4, 2009 9:20PM
The US Department of Labor released the national unemployment numbers today, showing a slight dip in the amount of jobs lost, from 10.2% to 10%. That translates to near 11,000 jobs lost, which was fewer than projected. President Obama appeared optimistic, saying, “Overall, this is the best jobs report we’ve seen since 2007.". Unfortunately, parts of Illinois fair worse than the national average. Rockford is among 15 cities nationwide with an unemployment rate over 15%, with 4,400 fewer jobs than last year. California has the hardest hit metropolitan areas, with nine major cities that have jobless rates above 15%.
The 10% figure though, is only a fraction of the actual amount of Americans unemployed. That number jumps to an astounding 17.2% when “marginally attached" workers, the underemployed and discouraged job-seekers are factored in. The Department of Labor defines “marginally attached” as “persons who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job” and have looked sometime recently. “Discouraged workers” are a subset of that group.
Mint.com, one of many “online money management” websites, produced this helpful (yet depressing) video. The discrepancy is nothing new, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has separated these categories since as far back as 1994. No matter which way the numbers are sliced, one thing is clear - if the economy is to improve, more Americans need to get back to work.