It’s sad that, in a country where thousands of people will rally in New York, Atlanta, and San Francisco to support the citizens of Egypt, no such rallies are in progress objecting to the abuse of Americans by our own government. And yes, when you’ve been stripped of your income, your personal standing, and your dignity by filthy Wall Street shenanigans and then the government dedicated to looking out for the People turns its back on you, that’s abuse.
But then, there are only 1.4 million 99ers, right? That’s only half of one percent of American citizens — that’s acceptable collateral damage from the Great Recession…right?
It turns out that the Congressional Research Service might not be all that accurate in their figuring after all. Let’s do just a little bit of simple math.
- Remember, a 99er has been unemployed for roughly 2 years, so people who lost their jobs in December 2007 became 99ers in November of 2009. People who lost their jobs in March of 2009 are just becoming 99ers today. That means everyone who lost their jobs between December 2007 and March of 2009 — and didn’t get a new one — is a 99er today.
- In March through December 2009, the nation lost a total of 2.5 million jobs.
- In 2010, there was a total of 863,000 jobs created.
- Given that a net total, then, of 1.7 million jobs have been lost since March of 2009, how likely is it that a significant number of the people who were unemployed in March of 2009 have gotten jobs (and thus avoided becoming 99ers?) The answer is “not bloody likely”.
- So, then, how many unemployed people were there in March of 2009 — the people who would be 99ers today? 13.2 million
Where did the other 11.8 million unemployed people go if they didn’t become 99ers? Given that there was an accepted average of 1 job opening for every 5 workers consistently through the past couple of years, you can knock 20% off of that number, as roughly 1 in 5 of those people presumably found a job.
That still leaves us with 9.44 million people that are entirely unaccounted for. Where did they go? Well, it turns out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has simply erased them. According to Michael Shedlock of The Market Oracle, it’s “statistical sleight of hand”.
Based on population growth, the labor force should have been expanding over the course of a year by about 125,000 workers a month, a total of 1.5 million workers. Instead, (for the entire year) the BLS reports that the civilian labor force fell by 167,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 2,094,000. In January alone, a whopping 319,000 people dropped out of the workforce.
To get the unemployment rate down from 9.8% to 9.0%, you simply do not count two million workers. Look on the bright side, at this rate we will be back to full employment in no time…
Given the total distortions of reality with respect to not counting people who allegedly dropped out of the work force, it is hard to discuss the numbers.
The official unemployment rate is 9.0%. However, if you start counting 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., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is [called the] U-6.
While the “official” unemployment rate is an unacceptable 9.0%, U-6 is much higher at 16.1%. Moreover, both the official rate and U-6 would be much higher were it not for huge numbers of people dropping out of the workforce.
Things are much worse than the reported numbers would have you believe.
So there you have it — the government is outright wrong about how many 99ers there are. Basic common sense math tells us that there are probably much closer to the previously estimated 7 million 99ers — if not 10! — than the BLS numbers would have us believe. So the question is, do we go with Team Evil and claim that this is all a plot to sink the Tier 5 unemployment extension before it happens, or Team Stupid and claim that they simply have no idea what they’re doing?