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Are the millions of people in our prison system considered in unemployment figures?
Couldn't these people be used productively to produce products in the market that China does only because we can't compete? Not slave labor, but reward these prisoners in some way, make them productive, teach them trade which makes them employable upon release. Teaches work ethic. Also keeps China out of our backyard. This income from these products could support the penal system instead of taxpayers. What do you think?
That is a fantastic idea. The only problem is getting the politicians to let it happen who are lining their pockets from companies making a fortune using China.
Look up UNICOR. Prison labor has been used in the US for many years. All able-bodied federal prisoners are forced to work either in facilities maintenance or a prison industry. Their wages are less than fifty cents an hour. Many state prisoners are similarly used.
Prisoners are not counted in the commonly reported unemployment rate because they are not actively searching for jobs. They're not included in the real unemployment rate, either, which includes those who have given up finding work and is about twice the one you read in the papers.
In the US the unemployment figures are calculated from the number of people who are receiving unemployment compensation. So regardless of where these people are located at, as long as they are receiving compensation then they count. So if that person just so happens to be in prison then they would count. If you are not receiving benefits, in or out of prison then you wouldn't count. I highly doubt that there are many people behind bars that are receiving unemployment benefits, because you are suppose to be actively seeking employment..
Convicts aren't unemployed according to the IRS. The IRS has been paying convicts millions for fraudulent tax returns in the past several years.
To address the technical part of your question, people in prisons and enrolled in school are not counted in unemployment figures. Unemployment numbers come from the percentage of people actively looking for work who cannot find it, provided they are in the labor force. What constitutes the labor force is defined here:
Notice that prisoners and students are generally excluded from this category.
As to whether prisoners should be put to work as cheap labor, they actually are depending on the prison system. For example, they help clean. For various reasons, turing prisons into factories might not be the most efficient system, and a lot of people have moral objections to it. For example, a lot of incarcerated people are too mentally ill and unstable to work, even as "slaves" doing simple tasks. Training them costs money, wouldn't that money be better spent training people who aren't criminals? Shouldn't people be willing to pay more for products made domestically by normal people? Etc.
Good question though, there are no simple answers to it.
No they are not counted!
Prison Slave labor is making a killing already. There a people who are profiting big time by locking people up. In fact they are the competition for American business, just like China.
Do a web search on Prison Profiteers or check out the book Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration.
Also look into the private prison industry and how they are making a killing. There is a reason we have such a high incarceration rate, especially for victimless crimes.
can't for they work for pennies an hour. its call prison labor and only friend of government official can get that kind of labor
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