Friday, March 6, 2009

14.8% unemployment and under-employment

According to the Economix blog at the New York Times, if you add up the levels of unemployed PLUS those under-employed (i.e., working the night shift at an Amazon warehouse but with a previous career in PR) as well as having given up looking at all, the total figure is closer to 15%. So exactly how bad is this downturn?

Since the start of 2008, the economy has lost jobs at a steeper rate than at any other point in 50 years. That hadn’t been true until today’s report. But the 651,000 job losses in February — together with 161,000 additional job losses in previous months, a result of Labor Department revisions announced today — means that the decline is worse than it was at any point during the deep recessions of the mid-1970s and of the early 1980s...

The government’s broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment was 14.8 percent in February. That includes some of the people who have stopped looking for work because they don’t believe they can find jobs. It also includes part-time workers who want to be working full time...
So it’s still too early to call this the worst recession since the Great Depression. But it’s bad, and it’s still getting worse at a rapid rate.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I believe I am underemployed too.

Under Employment is also when you are given no choice other than to work for a lower salary, even if the new salary is more than you could collect from Unemployment.

If you count people like myself, there are probably close to 50 percent underemplyment in the USA.

You can check an article I wrote on this topic at: http://www.blogsomebody.com

Note that I work in Florida and I am in the IT field. My employer cut my salary by 25 percent about 6months ago. I was told that I can stay and work hard, help my company re-adapt to the new economy, and if I do so maybe by early next year we will get our salary back.

So now I am making about the same salary as a Bank teller. If I quit I risk being employed for several months and unemployment compensation pays even less money. I used to make much more money since I am a Network Security Engineer.