Lies, Damn Lies, and Unemployment Statistics

This article does a pretty good job of laying out the hidden issues lurking in the unemployment statistics, such as “underemployment” due to part-time work, unpaid leaves, declining average workweeks, people who are probably incorrectly assumed to have found jobs, and people who may have just given up looking for a job, among others. The author makes a convincing argument that the reality behind the statistics suggests a long-term recession in which it will take years for meaningful job creation to occur.

Interestingly, the author’s recommendation is — more stimulus spending, even though he concludes that the first stimulus package was poorly designed and has been ineffective! If Congress in fact botched the first stimulus bill and $787 billion in spending was undertaken without any positive effects, why should we believe that Congress can do a better job the second time around? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, . . . .

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