Unemployment in US drops to 9.4% yahoo the recovery begins

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  1. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    Wall Street is happy this morning over it. It was 9.6%. The president still expects it to top 10% before the end of the year.

    Who makes this stuff up????

  2. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years ago

    That's a very volatile stat. There are two unemployment reports. One from unemployment claims. And the other from a survey of households. The Survey of Households picks up info that the unemployment claims can't. Such as the number of discouraged workers. Believe it or not - if you aren't looking for work because you are too discouraged - you don't count in the unemployment rate.

    So as the economy gets better the unemployment rate actually goes up because discouraged workers start looking for work again.

    The numbers are collected from two different agencies. It gets very confusing because these numbers are revised and they can conflict.

    I used to create the data used in economic models for a well-known Harvard professor. I've considered writing a series of hubs on how economic data is constructed and used. But I thought I might put everyone to sleep.

    1. Amanda Severn profile image95
      Amanda Severnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Nelle, that sounds fascinating to me at least. Sometimes when I read the figures quoted in the newspapers I wonder where the heck they come from. They just don't make sense. But of course there is a logic to everything, and all figures can be manipulated by omitting facts and circumstances. I guess it's all a case of lies, damned lies and statistics!

    2. ledefensetech profile image67
      ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I second Pam's suggestion.  Write them.  Just as important as the data is the way that data is presented.  If people know how statistics are derived, then they have a meterstick with which to measure the validity of someone's claim using those numbers.

      Amen, nicomp, when I transferred to a State school, the bastards stripped me of one years worth of credits.  My teachers in private school were recruited from out in the field (business) and not academics.  It made a difference in the quality of education I got.  Oh well, it just goes to show you get what you pay for.

  3. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    Nelle, I hope you write that hub! I would read it and I promise I won't fall asleep either.

    I read a book recently that explained how cost of living stats were juggled about over the past several decades to make things look better than they really are. I found that incredible. I think that even now they don't include the cost of food or housing in those stats, and certain big ticket items like refrigerators are subject to some sort of manipulations that makes sales look way better than they are.

    I'd love to read a hub on precisely how these figures are put together.

    1. profile image0
      Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yes the Consumer Price Index is a very political number. Mostly because many benefits such as social security are pegged to it. There's overall CPI which includes eveything and Core CPI which excludes energy and food.

      Oh god, now I'm babbling economic data. It'll take awhile, but I do promise to let my inner geek come out and write that series.

    2. Kidgas profile image62
      Kidgasposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      There are all sorts of manipulations that can be used on the CPI, such as hedonic regression and substitution bias.  Hedonics is where you discount the price of something (say a computer) because it is of higher quality and better even though it may cost the same as a less up to date model.  This may artificially lower CPI.  Substitution bias is when people buy a cheaper alternative (say chicken) because the price of something else increases (like beef).  Bottom line is like Amanda said...lies, damned lies, and statistics.

      That is why many look to the gold market to determine where true inflation may be headed since inflation is really a monetary phenomenon.

  4. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    I wonder too if people who don't collect unemployment are taken into account in those unemployment figures. Most of the people I know who are out of work (including me) don't qualify for unemployment compensation for any of a dozen different reasons.

    1. profile image0
      Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That's why the Household Survey was designed. To pick up people who don't land at the unemployment office or who have run out of unemployment benefits.

    2. Amanda Severn profile image95
      Amanda Severnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I didn't work at all for around eight years when my children were very young. Here in the UK you are not counted as unemployed if you're a 'homemaker', and additionally you can't claim any of the freebies associated with being unemployed. That's all down to your earning partner. I'm not complaining about this in any way. It was our choice, but sometimes when I see statistics about people in and out of work, I wonder where the government 'buries' figures for people like me!

    3. profile image0
      annvansposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, including the ones who are not collecting unemployment that the company starts complaining about the quality of their work and all these other things until the person quits and believes it is their fault and that they cannot get unemployment.  For 6 months a person does their job right until the going gets tough for the employers and they need to get rid of people and use excuses like that.

  5. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years ago

    Okay, I've been wanting to contribute to the hubpages community in more than writing hubs selling stuff. But nothing captured my fancy. I think I'll design a series of hubs about economic data and turn it into a Capstone series of hubs or whatever it's called. I'm going to reread Darkside's hub about it.

    It may take a while, but I'll try to figure out how to make the often convoluted and stupid world of economic data come alive.

    1. nicomp profile image66
      nicompposted 14 years agoin reply to this
  6. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    Nelle, I'm really looking forward to it. I'm over to join your fan club right now so I get the alerts. smile

    1. profile image0
      Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Watch out you'll get all my product hubs as well. Maybe I should just email you, when they're done.

  7. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    Nelle, I can't help but think those would be successful Hubs, since people have to be searching for that kind information (and I'd think they'd get - like - financial ads maybe?).   In any case, I'll read it/them.

  8. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years ago

    The recent addition of day traders, quant heads, and speculators have screwed many a commodities market up and gold is one of them. Oil is another. So I don't think that they are as reliable indicator as they once were. Even copper, which used to be a very liable proxy is a mess.

    We'll see more bubble and burst cycles in commodities, that don't have a rational basis except for speculation.

    1. Misha profile image63
      Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Uh-oh, sure it is speculators and day traders who screwed up the markets yikes

      1. profile image60
        logic,commonsenseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Don't know about the day traders, but the speculators have done a job on the oil market.  The US continues to have a glut of crude but the price keep going up.  Same way with RBOB gasoline.  They out and out admit that the speculators are the driving force behind the rise in the price of oil.  Speculators are betting that an improving economy is going to mean increased demand for oil and gas.  Duh!  With all the gas guzzlers being traded in for fuel efficient vehicles, we'll need less not more! (I am being facetious of course.)

  9. Tom Cornett profile image82
    Tom Cornettposted 14 years ago

    The company I worked for shut down because of foreign competition and some customers moved to Mexico.  I was laid off permanently. I went back to school at the suggestion of the local government job source organization.  I was told there were many jobs in the field.  I graduated with certifications and an average grade of A.
    I have put in hundreds of applications, on line, personally and through snail mail.
    When I get a rare interview, I can instantly see the (TOO OLD)look on their faces.  I looked on Craigslist and found guys with years of experience looking for work because they are laid off.  Now, I am worried.

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Tom, I'm 56. My brother-in-law is in his early 40s and is doing what you did--he got laid off and the state (Michigan) is sending him for retraining with stimulus money because his job is not coming back. Before he even started class his employment counselor told him she wasn't optimistic about his job prospects, even AFTER retraining "because of his age." He was gobsmacked. I mean, he's got 20 years minimum left to work in his life and the employment specialists are treating him like he's 78.

      I don't know. I quit looking for work when the last company I worked for went under in January. I still get bankruptcy stuff about them in the mail seven months later. Apparently they must not have met payroll or something--I don't know why I get this crap from their attorney.

      It's very depressing. I go through cycles with it. I feel hopeful, then depressed, then hopeful, then depressed. Some weeks I make OK money but then I'll hit a dry spot for two or three weeks and panic.

      1. Tom Cornett profile image82
        Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this


        My son attends a local college.  There are many, many adults going back to school.  The technical schools are filled to the max.  Are they all lying about potential jobs just to keep a quota of students?  If I have to work at Wall Mart or whatever, that I can deal with, I want to work. Maybe we all need to dumb down our resumes, get a part time job and attend government funded school for the next 8 years?

        1. profile image0
          annvansposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          By the time all these people get out of technical school, all those jobs will be taken and crowded.

          Maybe we all need to up our resume and claim we are better than we really are.

          1. TheMoneyGuy profile image72
            TheMoneyGuyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Maybe we should all just quit.  By letting us compete with one another they are letting us cut our own throats, and laughing all the way to the bank.

            This lends itself to the greater problem.  Education, the more they pay to educate us and the more people that complete these schools and educations the more that will be competing for said jobs.

            This is the government making sure there is adequate human capital willing to bid itself into the ground so that the remaing industries don't have to pay large wages in what used to be in demand skills.

            Scholarships make engineers into minimum wage workers.  Anyone that can't see past their own benefit to realize this is doomed.


            1. profile image0
              pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              I actually agree with this. I'm done with jobs. I'm not kidding.

              1. profile image0
                annvansposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I don't blame you one bit.  I get so tired of no matter what I do, I feel like I have been scammed when it comes to finding a decent job.  I either am pushing 150 lbs of weight, working with harsh chemicals or simply given too much work to do.  Its always something.  I am a small person and for someone to make me push around 150 lbs of weight that makes my fingers feel like they are gonna snap is ridiculous.  I am determined to find other forms of work online so that I do not have to deal with these kinds of things. 

                Do some business owners not know that if you treat employees well, give them a normal amount of work to do and pay them what they are worth will only help them in the long run?  I think sometimes they 'hope' that running people to death will make them more money.  You can bet if I was treated right at work, I would be able to be much more productive.

        2. Connie Smith profile image83
          Connie Smithposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          For anyone who is going back to "technical school," a "career college" or any other school that is NOT a public university or community college, please read my hub series on this issue before you pick one! I am not against vocational education, I just want everyone to do their research on the college of their choice!  These are all for-profit schools and some are much better than others.

          With a new tax credit for this year of up to $2,500, new Pell Grant of up to $5,550 next year and better federal loan choices, this is a great time to go back to school and change careers.  Just make sure that you are not wasting your time with the wrong one!

          1. nicomp profile image66
            nicompposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Amen. I've taught in both environments and it's a *completely* different world in the for-profit schools. The limited transferability of credits alone should be enough to wake people up.

            1. Connie Smith profile image83
              Connie Smithposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Ah, we agree on something, Nicomp. It is nice that most of us can find something, don't you think?  Though I am not a teacher, it is one of my goals to educate people on for-profit colleges.  Going back -- or for the first time -- is too important of a step to take without doing your homework before picking the right college.  From my research, along with the successes, I have found that there are a lot of disappointed students with loan debt and no degree.  I appreciate you backing me up on this.

            2. Plants and Oils profile image71
              Plants and Oilsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Sorry to be thick, what does this mean?

              1. ledefensetech profile image67
                ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                This happened to me.  I went to a private university for a couple of years.  Their curriculum was structured quite differently from what you find in a state run institution.  The biggest difference was they classed their basic business classes as 200 level, or sophomore level classes.  When I had to transfer to a state university, their basic business classes were 300 level or junior level classes.  To make a long story short, I was denied transfer credit for my basic business classes. Supposedly the states classes were better because they were junior level classes.  Those idiots couldn't compete with my old professors, no matter what level they claim their classes are at.  There is some truth to that old saw about those do can do, those who can't teach.  I'd add "for the state" at the end of that one because there are teachers who work for a living.  Most of them are in private schools.

                One reason for the limited transferability of credits is due to the Federal Student Aid program.  As the program has grown emphasis has shifted from moving kids through college to keeping them in as long as possible.  You especially see this in the classes that are supposed to "round out your education".  Schools have an incentive to keep you in as long as possible because as long as you are working towards a degree, they can expect X amount of dollars.  Of course, higher education costs are out of control, which only makes the problems of funding education worse.  It really is explained quite simply by classical economics.  Microeconomics was probably the best class I ever took in school.  If you can apply that to the real world, most of what's going on today makes sense.

              2. nicomp profile image66
                nicompposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I'm generalizing...

                A for-profit college generally has "limited transferability of credits" to other colleges that don't have the same name. Sometimes, the accreditation secured by this type of college is not strictly compatible with public schools or traditional private schools.

                Accreditation is a big deal at the college level. However, not all college are accredited by the same governing bodies. Research is required before enrolling at any school; this is simply another issue to take into account.

        3. profile image0
          pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          OMG Tom, I can't tell you how many times in my life I've had to play the sweet little housewifey dipshit and leave stuff off my app to get a job. It's so common around here, we coach each other on it. How to look compliant and stupid and eager and pass the stupid psych test about how we know stealing is bad, blah, blah, blah...

          My last half time job had me doing SO MUCH work off the clock I figured I could scrape up what they paid me on my own. So far I do, it's just not steady when you're self-employed. But averaged out, it's about the  same money, and I can be me instead of whatever monkey they are looking for this week. Plus, no stupid hat. smile

        4. ledefensetech profile image67
          ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          They're not lying, but there are so many people out of work who are retraining, that some schools are naturally going to see a glut of students, some of whom won't be able to find jobs.  Education seems to be the way out of this trap, but you have to choose wisely.  That's why I'm, personally, looking hard at the medical field.  Being a doctor is pretty much out, I don't want to spend the next decade or so in school.  Nursing is attractive, but you have to put up with doctors, of whom the quality is uneven. 

          That's why I've decided on becoming a Physician's Assistant.  You have almost the same duties and power of a doctor and you'll never run out of business because people will always need basic medical care.  Plus I like the idea of using market driven forces to ease the cost of healthcare, so it's an idea I can really get behind.  It'll take me four years, instead of ten.  I can get an RN certification in a year or so because I have many of the prerequisites and with that, I can get 40 hours of credit for a BSN which after that will take me a semester or two.  Once I get that BSN, I can apply to a school offering a Master's degree as a Physician's Assistant and be done about two years later.

          As for the unemployment data, don't believe it.  We all know the government lies and cheats.  Almost 500,000 people have stopped looking for jobs, the unemployment numbers only look at people filing for benefits, not those who have stopped looking or are out of benefits.  So the number, in actuality, is much higher than you'd think.

  10. Jerilee Wei profile image69
    Jerilee Weiposted 14 years ago

    This is what little I know about WHO THEY DON'T COUNT (from a previous hub I wrote about unemployment):

    These figures didn’t count some significant numbers of the unemployed:

    1.9 million who were out of work seasonally
    Those whose unemployment have run out
    Those who have stopped looking for work
    Those who are ill, out on strike, or out of work for personal reasons (quit)

    Furthermore, the biggest numbers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report doesn’t spell out -- is that these figures are just a hit and miss “sampling” of the number unemployed. It’s only a random sampling of 60,000 households.

    It's sort of like the headcounts, Fish and Game officials make, when sampling the number of wildlife in a given area. The difference is -- Fish and Game doesn’t eliminate the wildlife who are out of season, run out, starving, ill, laying down on the job of looking for food, or quit foraging for personal reasons. Or, at least the agency doesn't tell on itself in it's reports when it does.

  11. Aya Katz profile image82
    Aya Katzposted 14 years ago

    Jerilee, when a wild animal stops looking for food, the normal consequence is that it dies. So if fish and game department doesn't count it, it's probably not a big oversight.

    However, sometimes when people can't find work, after a while they stop looking, because they find that they can make money by being self-employed. This happened to me once in the 1980s. I was really looking for a job, and I kept looking for a few years. Meanwhile, my yellow pages ad came out, and I started to have clients. After a few years of getting nowhere with trying to find a job, I just accepted that I would have to be independent. I did have enough income to support myself, though it was never as much as I could have made had I found a job.

    So... this might be happening to other people. Their yellow page ad may be starting to kick in!

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly what happened to me. It's not so bad.

  12. Aya Katz profile image82
    Aya Katzposted 14 years ago

    Pgrundy, yeah, it doesn't have to be bad. Sometimes it's even the start of something really good.

  13. Jerilee Wei profile image69
    Jerilee Weiposted 14 years ago

    I agree with both of you, I never looked back and couldn't possibly stand working for anyone but myself.  I just find it interesting that anyone would belive the stats the government puts out, because they are always flawed.

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think it's been so much worse than usual though. I mean, it's always such a lie, but lately it's downright schizophrenic.

      I agree with everyone here about self-employment. It would be very hard for me at this stage to work at a 'job' type job.

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I can't stand working for anyone else anymore.  I had enough of that after I had my kid and my job gave me a hard time because I needed to go home and take care of my kid. 

        When I realized they could care less about me having a new family.  I quit and have done everything I possibly can to avoid ever havinig to go back to a day job. 

        I work harder on my own then I ever did before but it's worth every bit of my time plus I get to be with my kid. 

        http://hubpages.com/hub/Online-Marketing-Trends.  You should read this.

        1. Tom Cornett profile image82
          Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          sandra...I clicked on the link...nothing there?

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            http://hubpages.com/hub/Online-Marketing-Trends that is strange.  I will try it again.  I wonder what is up.  Hubpages has been strange lately.

      2. TheMoneyGuy profile image72
        TheMoneyGuyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I wrestle with my own employment situation, although I don't do anything about it, because I am very freaking lazy.

        I basically get paid to sit on my ass and do nothing, my primary job description is to not compete, and help occasionally if the need arises.

        Essentially I get paid to stay out of the market.

        It is very weird, but that is what I do for a living.  My official title is Senior Field Engineer, I get paid a good salary to hang out and fly whereever when need arises, but in this industry the need rarely arises.  So I put around the house and read way to much and get disgruntled at the current GeoPolitical situation.


  14. Connie Smith profile image83
    Connie Smithposted 14 years ago

    I've been self-employed for years.  It is hard to go back and work for someone else.  I agree that statistics can be manipulated, so we always have to take a look at those with a bit of skepticism.

  15. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    Yeah it's gone. sad

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I accidentally added a period, but I checked it again and it's there.

  16. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    OMG spam. Did anyone see a can of Spam at the start of this thread?

  17. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Did you mean logic's post? wink

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      No, that 4Life post. MLM is being taught in schools? Rilly? lol!

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        LOL I was kidding of course smile
        I did report this guy (4life) a while ago already smile

  18. ngureco profile image81
    ngurecoposted 14 years ago

    "Because unemployment has increased so much people are going on their own and MLM is the road a lot of us are taking"??

    Why is it more than 50% of the people do not see the dangers of saturation?

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Saturation? You mean with MLM?

      I think MLM is nutso. I wrote a hub about it. Every other person I know is pushing $30 candles or eyeliner that costs more than champagne. Few people actually buy that crap even in a good economy, and after awhile everybody runs when they see you coming because they know you're going to try to recruit them or sell them some garbage.

      MLM isn't being taught in any schools. That's just craziness. smile

  19. profile image52
    jrlennox_01posted 14 years ago

    This is really good news! I like fantasies. Too bad this number does not take into account all the people currently receiving EUC from Uncle Sam, especially the 1.5 million who will lose all benefits in September. Believe what you want, however the unemployment rate is about 15% right now. Imagine what would happen if the Fed admitted it?

  20. profile image0
    Crazdwriterposted 14 years ago

    All I can say is unemployment is no fun! I am still unemployed and I am definitely getting discouraged. No Preschool is hiring and....I don't qualify for anything else because all I did was work at a preschool. sad It's really sad and such a pain.

    1. Aya Katz profile image82
      Aya Katzposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Why not start your own limited enrollment pre-school in the home? Employment isn't the only way to practice your skills and earn a living.

  21. Bibowen profile image88
    Bibowenposted 14 years ago

    Who wouldn't recover with all the money that was just dumped into the economy? Massive inflation and high taxes are in our future. We are not feeling it right now because the banks are still holding a lot of that money--still have the jitters. If we spend our way into prosperity, we'll be the first nation to do it.

    1. Aya Katz profile image82
      Aya Katzposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Bibowen, I agree. I can't see how this could possibly work in the long run.

  22. Dewey Cheatem profile image60
    Dewey Cheatemposted 14 years ago

    The nation’s unemployment rate fell slightly last month, but largely because so many people dropped out of the hunt for work, ceasing to be considered unemployed by the government. The official unemployment rate fell from 9.5 to 9.4 percent, but economists project the real unemployment rate to be 16.3 percent. On Friday, President Obama spoke to reporters after the release of the jobs figures.

    President Obama: "This morning, we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us. Though we lost 247,000 jobs in July, that was nearly 200,000 fewer jobs lost than in June, and far fewer than the nearly 700,000 jobs a month that we were losing at the beginning of the year. Today we’re pointed in the right direction. We’re losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when I took office. We’ve pulled the financial system back from the brink, and a rising market is restoring value to those 401(k)s that are the foundation of a secure retirement.”

    These numbers are always revised after a couple of months. Usually the revision puts the number higher.

    Don't forget also that Obama's energy taxes have yet to be enacted. More jobs will be lost as a result of his policies.

    1. nicomp profile image66
      nicompposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm unclear how BHO plans to create millions of high-paying "good jobs" in the green energy fields and at the same time provide us with cheap plentiful energy. That doesn't add up. Our energy is cheap and plentiful now.

      1. ledefensetech profile image67
        ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        He'll just put on his ruby slippers, click his heels three times and say: "There's no place like home".


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