Look At It This Way (#LAITW)

? Million Americans Not Working

by on Sep.30, 2014, under Do the Math, Words Have Meanings

How do you define unemployed?

The official unemployment rate is down to 6.1%. That’s what they say. They also say that there are but 9.6 million people out of work. They¬†use a very specific (and I’d say misleading) unemployment calculation, and it doesn’t reflect what us regular folk would think of as unemployed.

Try, instead, what they call the U-6 number. That gets closer as it includes not just the unemployed searching for jobs, but also the underemployed and those who have flat out quit looking for work (but would work if they could). The U-6 number is over 12% these days. That’s closer, at 20 million plus unemployed.

Add in students who should be working, immigration effects, and such and the unemployment rate starts pushing 20%. Now we’re getting closer to 30 million out of work.

There are actually 90+ million adults (>16), out of about 250 million, who are not working, including retirees, stay at home parents, etc. To the extent that any of these is on social security, medicare, welfare, or the like, that’s a current taxpayer burden.


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