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I don’t Get the Unemployment Rate at 7.7%

What is the real unemployment rate?

I keep hearing that the unemployment rate in this country is getting better. This is what I don’t understand, there were 146,000 people that got jobs for the month and yet 300,000 folks left the job market. Someone needs to explain to me how this is an improvement.

The spin with these numbers are such a farce. I hate to tell you, but the employment numbers in this country are not getting any better, if anything worse.

Unemployment in U.S. Falls to 7.7 Percent

By: Patrice Hill

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Wyatt December 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Patrice should spend a few minutes on the DOL's website to learn about the different unemployment rates and what they mean. It really isn't that complicated.
Kaptainsteve December 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM
They do not figure out the unemployment rate the same way they did, say, during the Great Depression. If you figured it out the same way, you would find that the real unemployment rate is almost DOUBLE what they say it really is. CT, officially is at 9 right now, which puts the real rate close to 17%! They don't want everyone to know the real rates because if we did, we'd realize that the scam of stimulus and deficit spending is just a pyramid/Ponzie scheme in disguised. You can find closer to the truth numbers here; http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts
Shelley December 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM
If they determine the unemployment rate based on the number of people who are collecting benefits it's way understated as it doesn't count the people whose benefits have run out.
Geoff Cook December 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Kaptainsteve: Great site w/ good info - thx for sharing.
Luckyguy December 14, 2012 at 03:40 AM
It's bad . Really bad and it's getting worse. With a President and Democratic Congress upon us job creation is dead. That's exactly what Democrats and Socialists want---a dependency on government. Chris Murphy, dicky b , obama et al have no idea how to create jobs. Welcome to the unemployment bonanza
Daniella Ruiz December 14, 2012 at 07:10 AM
as long as the wealthy keep scooping up all the 'fungible' wealth, there will be less for the other 99.999 percent to share for barter (as paycheck or salary). redundancy is no joke, the low cost global market has managed to devalue every job in this country. many americans have become the 'redundant', replaced by others.
Bill December 14, 2012 at 01:13 PM
So Daniela! Are you saying the rich are only rich because the poor are poor?
Andrew Ziemba December 14, 2012 at 01:36 PM
We would all have a lot more money if the Federal Reserve did not exist, and if we were on a gold standard. Inflation is the worst for the poor and middle class. They should be screaming at the top of their lungs to end the fed. After all, not only is it in their best interest, but it is also the moral path and the best interest for anyone who is not profiting from it immorally like many huge corporations.
Karma December 14, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Bill, the rich are rich because they (upper class) work in concert with the lower class to squeeze the middle class. The rich as a whole derive most of their wealth, not from actual income paid them for "work", but from long standing tax sheltered investments, crony bailouts, and corporate welfare and accounting trickery. As a percentage of income (all sources, not just "employment"), the wealthy pay far less tax than the middle class in this country.. The poor get the benefit of no taxation, social problems, etc, none of which is available to the "average Joe on the street", the middle class, (say from about $45K-$300K annual income; from all sources). The middle class has none of the "advantages"of the poor class or the wealthy class. The middle class ALWAYS foots the bill. It's amazing how the rich don't want to pay any more taxes (and how the middle class Repulican yahoos parrot the rich). The wealthy aristocracy owns the political process in this country which works to their benefit. A few crumbs (social programs) are thrown to poor rabble to keep them in line. Middle class gets the bill. I (the middle class), like the wealthy, don't want to pay any more tax either. Tell me how, since taxing the wealthy seems to be verboten among card carrying Republicans like yourself, how do you and I, the middle class, convince those below us in the social strata, the poor, how do we convince them to pay tax, on their minimum wages, on their social programs? I'm all ears...
Rachel S. December 14, 2012 at 02:10 PM
The unemployment rate is calculated using a list of those receiving and/or applying for benefits under unemployment. Once a year and a half passes, those people (who still don't have jobs) are not considered "unemployed" by the federal government.
Wyatt December 14, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Don't worry - they don't determine the unemployment rate that way. Please educate yourself.
Wyatt December 14, 2012 at 02:23 PM
@Rachel. That is completely wrong. Please educate yourself.
Wyatt December 14, 2012 at 02:27 PM
For all of you extremely confused people - here is the actual definition of the most commonly reported definition of the unemployment rate: "Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who were not working and were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed. Receiving benefits from the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program has no bearing on whether a person is classified as unemployed." And remember there are several different unemployment rates that the government tracks, all of which are freely available online. Each different rate looks at different factors and thus vary. For additional information, I suggest you look at: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm
Bill December 14, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Just imagine how much more you could contribute to the economy, your family, your charity of choice (I prefer the Salvation Army myself) if the government was taking even 30% less of that instead of giving it to Solyndra, the first five, free cell phones and abortions etc ad nauseum. If you think it's all the "rich mans fault" you've allowed yourself to be bamboozled by big brother. Apple computers doesn't take 30% out of MY paycheck every week.
Bill December 14, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Wow, Karma, I posted one sentence and you used that to pigeon hole me, define me, and even determine what political party I belong to. Impressive. No, I don't believe the poor are poor because the rich are rich or vice versa. Most businessmen have nothing to gain by keeping anyone poor, even if they could. If you own a company that produces goods or services that others consume, you make more profit if there are more people who can afford your product, a simple economic truth you seem to have missed. Apple computers didn't become a multimillion dollar concern by keeping people poor. And they didn't force anyone to buy their products either. Steve Jobs became a gazillionaire because people willingly gave him their dollars in return for a product. And since most people trade up, ie they don't give someone a dollar in return for $.50 worth of product, they benefited by doing so. If you want to rail against someone for keeping the poor poor, rail at the tax and spend government that keeps sucking money out of the economy with no benefit to the economy. It's not a zero sum equation, there is no limit to wealth, its not a limited commodity, the only thing limiting it is that in places like CT, you work for 5 months out of the year with all your income going to the government, local state and federal.
gerald gergler December 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM
forget the numbers do you want to work or not i prefer to . lower the taxes for those who create jobs and tax the snobs . we all know who they are. the gov. can audit every dime you and i make let the folks who earn $250000 alone as long as they are supporting our economy mabey creating a few jobs instead of living in there own nest egg
serenitysdad December 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Joe, you are absolutely right. As my good friend, Bill, who taught me Quality Assurance/statistics in college, "figures lie, and liars figure"...the number of unemployed, and homeless people, are so drastically misrepresented by the main stream media....its all politics and money.....not what made this "great country" what it is...sad, but thats it, in a nut shell....
Grayden Michaud January 04, 2013 at 01:50 PM
http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/04/news/economy/hopelessly-unemployed-workers/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 this article from CNN came out today. The long-term unemployed are not counted in the official numbers from the feds.

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