Take a look at the chart below. It shows three unemployment measures going back to 1994. The red line is the “Official” (quotations much called for here) rate, the one that the talking heads mention. The gray line is the broadest measure of unemployment. I referenced it in last week’s WR&O. The blue line represents an estimate of the unemployment rate, as measured (and dispensed with) during the Clinton administration. That measure included “discouraged” workers, those who had given up looking for work. They weren’t only discouraged, they were discouraging, to the populace, so they were removed from the unemployment rolls until their attitudes shaped up.
Kindly note the current level of unemployment using that measure: 20+%, or 1 in 5. If I’m not mistaken, reported unemployment, at one time in the ’30s reached 3 in 10, while the most commonly reported Great Depression unemployment rate was–envelope, please–20%.
This data came from John Williams’ excellent Shadow Government Statistics–thus, the “SGS” in the legend–website. Available here or from the Blogroll on the home page. Fantastic, if not depressing, stuff.
Chart courtesy of ShadowStats.com