A simple way to explain the unemployment stats
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Been looking for a simple way to explain the unemployment stats, how the “good news” of the past few weeks are really misleading, and providing those that believe them to be good news much like the fool’s gold that panhandlers find when digging for gold.
This synopsis is with much thanks to Frank Link, VP Client Services at First Sun Consulting, LLC – Outplacement Services. If you are not familiar with Abbot & Costello, and you love classic comedy, then you need to watch some of their clips on YouTube…
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 8.3%.
C: That many people are out of work?
A: No, that’s 16%.
C: You just said 8.3%.
A: 8.3% Unemployed.
C: Right 8.3% out of work.
A: No, that’s 16%.
C: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.
A: No, that’s 8.3%…
C: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8.3% or 16%?
A: 8.3% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
C: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.
A: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
C: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
A: No, you miss my point.
C: What point?
A: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
C: To who?
A: To Obama’s re-election campaign.
C: But they are ALL out of work.
A: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
C: So if you’re off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment?
A: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
C: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
A: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 8.3%. Otherwise, it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
C: That would be frightening.
C: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
A: Two ways is correct.
C: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
C: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
C: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.
A: Now you’re thinking like an economist.
C: I don’t even know what the heck I just said!
And now you know why the unemployment figures are improving!
Here’s Abbot and Costello’s best gig, enjoy…
And here’s another video for your next coffee break
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