Unemployment rate 9.0 percent or 9.8 percent?, Big brother or Gallup, Orwellian speak, 2011 or 1984

Unemployment rate 9.0 percent or 9.8 percent?, Big brother or Gallup, Orwellian speak, 2011 or 1984

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984”

Unemployment Rate from Big Brother

From the US Labor Department February 4, 2011.

“Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate (9.0 percent) declined by 0.4 percentage point
for the second month in a row. (See table A-1.) The number of
unemployed persons decreased by about 600,000 in January to 13.9
million, while the labor force was unchanged. (Based on data adjusted
for updated population controls. See table C.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men
(8.8 percent), whites (8.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.9 percent)
declined in January. The unemployment rates for adult women (7.9
percent), teenagers (25.7 percent), and blacks (15.7 percent) were
little changed. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.9 percent, not
seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell
from 8.9 to 8.5 million in January. The number of long-term unemployed
(those jobless for 27 weeks or more) edged down to 6.2 million and
accounted for 43.8 percent of the unemployed. (See tables A-11 and A-

After accounting for the annual adjustment to the population controls,
the employment-population ratio (58.4 percent) rose in January, and
the labor force participation rate (64.2 percent) was unchanged. (See
tables A-1 and C.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons
(sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined
from 8.9 to 8.4 million in January. These individuals were working
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were
unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In January, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor
force, up from 2.5 million a year earlier. (These data are not
seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force,
wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime
in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged
workers in January, about the same as a year earlier. (These data are
not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not
currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 1.8 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
survey for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)”

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From Gallup February 3, 2011.

“Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 9.8% at the end of January — up from 9.6% at the end of December, but down from 10.9% a year ago.”
“Underemployment Essentially Unchanged in January

Underemployment — the combination of part-time workers wanting full-time work and Gallup’s U.S. unemployment rate — was 18.9% in January, essentially the same as the 19.0% of December. Underemployment now stands one percentage point below the 19.9% of a year ago.
Comparing Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment rates so far in 2011 with those for the same periods in 2010 provides something of a seasonally adjusted view of Gallup’s jobs data. Unemployment and underemployment are now at least one point below the rates of a year ago, reflecting modest improvement over the past year.

Still, Gallup’s measures paint a real-time picture of the current job realities on the ground: nearly 1 in 10 Americans in the U.S. workforce are unemployed, nearly one out of five are underemployed, and the nation’s overall hiring situation has not improved over the past four to six months.”

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