We all know that the September unemployment rate (9.6%) did not rise, or did it? Yes, yes it did. There are two major categories of employment: U3 and U6. If you fall within one then you are not included in the other.
U3 is the full time unemployment level. There was an increase of approximately 95,000 unemployed but this number fell just short of pushing the percentage of unemployed higher. So we remain flatlined at 9.6%, which was 9.8% one year ago.
U6 is where the mass of un(der)employed live. U6 are your and my neighbors that are doing something to earn $$ but can only find some part-time work.
The U6 unemployment rate made a massive jump from 16.7% in August to 17.1% in September. This is roughly equivalent to about 18,000,000 people unemployed. When you include the more than 9,000,000 represented by the U3 number then we have 27 million Americans idled.
Recommended reading: MarketWatch “The going gets tougher; Commentary: America still hemorrhaging jobs”
To MarketWatch’s credit, it acknowledges the reality of our current situation:
“No, you can’t blame all this on the current administration. There are time lags, and the economic meltdown mostly occurred under the previous administration. In the 12 months before the inauguration, the economy shed 4.4 million jobs. Nonetheless, the data for the past 20 months are a bitter political pill.”
So what do we do? That is the all important question.
I would hope that we avoid playing the blame game. That just antagonizes the very people that we need cooperation from. On the other hand it seems hard to avoid — the blame game — when a major
portion of the electorate seems oblivious as to how we have got to where we are today.
So please be kind and reach out a hand. There are many Americans that need a bit of understanding, a large dose of help and a friend for when their day or week just falls apart. Almost 100,000 American families continue to lose their homes to foreclosure each month.
Reality is that there is no good news apparent on the horizon; we are entering the fall when the economy should ramp up for the holiday season (50% of all sales) … yet there is little good news.
My own assessment is that the economy will stay close to its current level through 2013 (not drop to less that 8% unemployed; U3 rate) and that we will probably experience a jobless recovery through 2017.
Historical U6 Rates by month:
Looking for a job? Begin your search here: http://www.USAJobZoo.com
Commentary by Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent conservative observer of American politics, economics, business and trends. You can reach Bill at Bill@Bill4DogCatcher.com