Friday, September 3, 2010

Jobless Recovery or Recession: It Depends on Where You Stand

The unemployment rate in Canada is officially 8.0%, reports Statistics Canada in its latest release. As for the United states, Mary Engel of MSN Money wrote recently, the unemployment rate in the US is far higher than the official rate, as bad as that rate is:
 It's bad enough that the nation's jobless rate is 9.7%. But the real national employment rate is even higher than the U.S. Department of Labor's May figure shows.
The official unemployment index, based on a monthly survey of sample households, counts only people who reported looking for work in the past four weeks. It doesn't account for part-time workers who want to work more hours but can't, given the tight job market. And it doesn't include those who have given up trying to find work.
When the underemployed and the discouraged are added to the numbers, the unemployment rate rises to 16.6%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the Labor Department, began tracking this alternative measure— known as the U-6 for its department classification—in 1995 after economists lobbied for a method comparable to the way Japan, Canada and Western Europe count their unemployed.

And in some regions of the U.S., the rate is 20%, meaning that one out of every five persons is either without work or has insufficient work to live with dignity. Currently, there are six jobless workers for every posted job.

Waiting in Line During The Great Depression: Unemployed people, numbering about 5,000, wait outside the State Labor Bureau which houses the State Temporary Employment Relief administration in New York City, Nov. 24, 1933. Photo Credit: AP

During the Great Depression, unemployment rates peaked at 25% in the US, and 27% in Canada. About 25 million people in the world's 30 richest countries will have lost their jobs between the end of 2007 and the end of 2010 as the economic downturn pushes most countries into recession.

It looks as if things will get much worse before they get better. The good news is that it might bring people and communities closer together, which often happens during a crisis.
Note: I would like to hear your stories and views on the economic crisis. Many of us are going through very difficult economic and trying times. The Poor, the working poor, the struggling family should not be stigmatized. You can help make a change and a difference in society. Everyone should be able to live life with dignity. I love to hear your stories.

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