Friday, December 2, 2011

The November unemployment rate.

From Mike Gimbel:

Hi All,
The November unemployment data came out this morning.  The official unemployment rate dropped to 8.6%.  That is a number that no one should take very seriously!
As I analyzed the data this morning, I confirmed that there was a drop of similar proportions in the REAL unemployment rate from 17.89 to 17.48%. When one adds those working part-time but seeking full-time work, the unemployment + underemployment rate dropped from 23.09% to 22.48%.
One "curious" proviso to the above:  While the number of officially listed unemployed dropped in November, from October, by 594,000 the increase of the officially listed employed only increased by 278,000. If the unemployed dropped by over one-half million, why did the employed increase by less than half of the decrease in the unemployed? Curiously, the number of those officially shuffled into the category "Not in the Labor Force" skyrocketed by 487,000 in November. That number is several times larger than it should have been. It probably includes large numbers of unemployed who ran out of unemployment insurance in November who did not gain employment and are now no longer listed as officially unemployed. In other words, most of the decline in the officially unemployed did not go into the employed category.  Instead they were dumped into the "Not in the Labor Force" category. The result is that the total civilian workforce, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fell in November by 315,000!!! This makes no sense! The population increases every month. The avalable workforce increases every month, not decreases! In other words, there was no decrease of 315,000 in the available workforce.  That decrease is a mathematical, not a real, decrease.
While it appears that November saw a real decrease in unemployment, the overall picture remains the same with 17.48% unemployed and 22.48% either unemployed or underemployed.  Those numbers show that the economy remains in a deep depression, not a recession.
A massive public works program needs to be fought for! Not a program of handouts to corporations to hire, but a federal program that will directly hire tens of millions at union scale pay.  The capitalist system has hit a wall and the corporations are demanding that the workers pay for their crisis. The Occupy Wall Street movement has shown how the action in the street can change the political discourse. Let's keep the heat on and not get caught up in the 2012 election trap.  Regardless of who wins in November, we'll have to remain in the streets!  The attacks on the labor movement and every other progressive movement has been going on for about 35 years, under both parties. It started when President Gerald Ford told New York City to "Drop Dead" during the NYC financial crisis that was used to force huge concessions from the NYC unions. Jimmy Carter then followed up by attacking the airline unions with airline deregulation which was followed up by attacks on the Auto Workers, etc.......Let's do what we can to help Occupy Wall Street, and all the other fightback movements, to grow stronger. It's the only way to beat the corporations who are trying to destroy our standard of living!
--Mike Gimbel
The stupidities and absurdities by which mathematicians have rather excused than explained their mode of procedure, which remarkably enough always lead to correct results, exceed the worst and real fantasies of the Hegelian philosophy of nature.
                                                                  --Frederick Engels

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