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Under employment up 21%



April 02, 2008 – Comments (9)

People aren't reading the employment data correctly.  This CNN article covers the many ways employment data is far worse that what is reported.

The parts that are being missed:

  1. Under employment rapidly rising.
  2. The number of people no longer qualifying to be counted is increasing.  It says that the broader measure shows that unemployment has increased from 8.1 to 8.9%, huge increase.
  3. Contract workers skew the numbers.  You have a way more contract workers in housing.

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 02, 2008 at 7:16 PM, dwot (29.67) wrote:

S&P P/E is increasing due to falling earnings.

Thomas Palley has a must read article on the great moderation. It is an essay on how bankers reputations increased for keeping us out of recessions or only in short recessions and how history shall be rewritten to reflect the true consequences.

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#2) On April 02, 2008 at 7:31 PM, btown819 (92.94) wrote:

I'm still unemployed, haven't filed for unemployment yet.  Before I was laid off, I wasn't underemployed and/or contract.  Hopefully I"ll see some offers come back soon or I will have to be another statistic... I'll let you know first so you can get a jump on the Street :)

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#3) On April 02, 2008 at 7:53 PM, DemonDoug (30.95) wrote:

Talking about misreading or misinterpreting, today I feel was one of the low points in US Government history.  Bernanke basically got a free pass from Congress when he should have rightfully been grilled to a crisp for the BSC bailout.  All he said was "It wasn't a bailout" and it was like, oh, okay, we believe you.

I think it is endemic of the entire system which is infected with corruption.  Also, regarding unemployment, just like inflation, unemployment metrics have been changed over the past 30 years to appear more favorable.

I feel absolutely disgusting about all this today.  I think I need to buy some more tobacco stocks because in any environment, that's about as close to a sure thing there is, and if we get super high inflation, you know the smokers are still gonna keep puffing.

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#4) On April 02, 2008 at 10:20 PM, dwot (29.67) wrote:

This is too funny...

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#5) On April 02, 2008 at 10:31 PM, dwot (29.67) wrote:

I am of the opinion that Brian Mulroney was Canada's greatest Prime Minister for steering Canada towards turning our out of control spending around.  He has been accused of wrong doing and had all of this investigation and the idiot who keeps stirring the pot has no evidence to prove his case.  I hate this kind of abuse.

If the US had a leader like Mulroney the US would not be in such dire economic shape.  I feel disgusted to have a leader that did so much for Canada to be so totally treated like trash. 

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#6) On April 02, 2008 at 11:51 PM, wm052 (33.92) wrote:

There is no accountability - just look at Alan Greenspan aka the bubblemeister. Let's replace the Fed with an Apple II (LOL remember those?) W

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#7) On April 03, 2008 at 12:51 AM, Tastylunch (28.76) wrote:

Jim Jubak has some pretty great commentary relevant to this

Jubak’s Journal: Why’s unemployment so low?
Jubak’s Journal: Why’s unemployment so low?
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#8) On April 04, 2008 at 3:01 AM, phegm (< 20) wrote:


I love how people always look to unemployment numbers.  Sadly, 5% unemployment isn't necessarily a good thing when a significant number of the employed are having difficulting living off their measly wages.  Instead of employment numbers lets look at the percentage of people who can make ends meet....job or no job.... I bet the stats would make you cry... 

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#9) On April 04, 2008 at 9:02 AM, dwot (29.67) wrote:


that certainly is the case for Vancouver.  People with just high school education had no problems living their lives, having children, buying homes, etc., when I was growing up.  Even being in the single parent route my mother managed to buy a two bedroom condo and she had a new car.  She actually had to work two jobs for a year to make that transition to home owner.

Here's my big axe to grind, I would never have been able to afford her two bedroom condo on my own despite having two degrees, not having children, and my mother dropped out of high school in grade 10.  By the time I was in the housing market her place was going for 5-6 times my wages, and right now if I was working full-time as a teacher in Vancouver it would be closer to about 10-15 times my wage.  This 710 sq ft apartment they want $559k.  Heck, comparing doing it alone, even today if I look at having just sold my place and took half the equity, I couldn't afford to buy a two bedroom apartment where my mom lived.  My mother was 32 when she died.  I'm 46, that's BS.

I was listening to CBC radio on my drive north and there was this single mom they interviewed about the food bank, which she used.  She worked full-time and the comment that stuck out for me was her saying how important it was that she could get things like tampons at the food bank because they were so expensive and she just couldn't afford them.

So, I look at it and despite my own frustrations that it is so much harder despite having done so much more to try and improve lifestyle, I just look at it and recognize that those who didn't invest in themselves and try and improve their lifestyle are modern day serfs, or perhaps even less.

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