Shadow Stats: 1 in 5 Americans without Work

by | Apr 6, 2009 | Headline News

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    On Friday, April 3, 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March Jobs numbers.

    According to the BLS, the U-3 unemployment figure, which is the generally accepted and most reported rate for unemployment, is listed at 8.5%, with 663,000 jobs lost in March. We will more than likely see yet another revision from the BLS on these numbers some time later this month with an upward adjustment to around 700,000.

    The U-6 unemployment figure is up to 15.6% and counts all the people that want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc.

    But according to John Williams of, even the U-6 numbers do not accurately reflect the state of unemployment today.

    “During the Clinton Administration, ‘discouraged workers’ — those who had given up looking for a job because there were no jobs to be had — were redefined so as to be counted only if they had been ‘discouraged’ for less than a year. This … defined away the bulk of the discouraged workers.”

    Those workers who have been “discouraged” for less than one year are counted in the U-6 figure of 15.6% above. However, if a worker has been “discouraged” for over one year, they are not counted in any of the unemployment figures.

    So what is the real unemployment figure?

    According to John Williams, the real unemployment figure is a whopping 19.8%!

    One in five Americans are either out of work or can’t find meaningful work right now.

    While some analysts are replacing the “R” recession word with “Recovery”, here at SHTF Plan, we’re not so confident. The numbers we are starting to see are depression-like numbers, not seen since the 1930’s.


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