The actual unemployment rate in the USA.

Like the overwhelming majority of the productive online discourse extant, this too kicks off on IRC:

mats: [graph]i Interesting.
mircea_popescu: If that figure wasn’t coming straight out of an ass, the table might be more interesting.
asciilifeform: ^

mircea_popescu: But as it is, entirely meaningless to put those on same map, they’re not in any sense the same thing.ii
asciilifeform: USG ’employment’ figures make ‘climate science’ look honest.iii They have ~0 connection to reality.

mats: Beyond the confusion of unemployed and folks who’ve given up – can you elaborate?
mircea_popescu: I suppose look into how the data is defined and collected one day when run out of other online entertainment. Nowadays “unemployed” = “number of people who jump through X Y and Z hoops more recently than 2 weeks ago and for not a longer total interval than 11 weeks , and also who aren’t in any of these 58 excluded categories. Such as “white”.” I’m exagerating, but not by so very much.

asciilifeform: One obvious example – a great many folks never figure in the score at all, because they are ‘contractor’.
mircea_popescu: Also “disabled”

asciilifeform: mircea_popescu is approximately correct. Quite likely not 1 in 10 laid off folk, ever appear in the ‘unemployed’ column. For any length of time whatsoever. In entire life. Old folks, for instance, forced into an early ‘catfood diet’ retirement, do not because their count as ‘retiree’ when kicked out for being 65 y.o.
mircea_popescu: To obtain correct unemployment figure in these circumstances, do (count of all tax returns paying more than 0.4 * 10.5 * 8 * 320iv in tax) / (US population as per census). You’ll get a shocking 40%ish which happens to also be correct. the majority of the us population is not currently employed ; nor has any prospects of ever being employed.

asciilifeform: LaFonde’s ‘dindus’,v unsurprisingly, also do not count as ‘unemployed’ perhaps half of that number ever had so much a ~thought~ of being employed.

When you also account for the fact that ~45% of US famblies households pay zip zero zilch in federal income tax, the rosy picture painted by even soi-disant libertariansvi in the States starts to fade faster than a high school cheerleader’s best assets. So there you have it : 40% unemployment. Mas o menos a little, but not much.vii

Sorry for your stats.

___ ___ ___

  1. Not that this graph is useful enough to “unhappen” the way so many inconvenient truths unflattering to the current regime are, but anyways :
    some blahblah employment graph
  2. You have to admit that plotting the number of months after a supposed event referenced by another line on said same graph against a percentage increase or decrease from one of the other peaks of one of the other plotted lines makes about as much sense as having a bomb defusing robot that can’t leave the basement of the university library. It’s just as confusing and unintuitive.
  3. And climate science is, quite obviously at this point, anything but honest.
  4. MP considers 320 to be a reasonable estimate for the number of days worked by an average USian… It isn’t. The reality is that a few sick days, a few personal days, weekends, long weekends, and holidays add up to a figure that’s closer to 200 working days per year, which really isn’t really all that different from every other late-stage republic, y’know. If you’re celebrating all the things and all the cultures all the time, when are you actually working ?
  5. “Dindu” is an appelation for the hoodrat blacks who “dindu nuttin”. James LaFond catalogues their comings and going better than almost anyone from his front-row seat in Baltimore (eg. The Dindustan Library, Dindu-cation, Dindu Cosmology, ‘All Da Dindu Day’, Parting the Curtain of the Lie).
  6. My ol’ pal Russ Roberts is who I have in mind here. I wanna choke the old man out and leave his utopian corpse in the ditch every time I hear him spout off his go-to line bit to interviewees about “why is everything so shitty if unemployment is only 5% ?”, which is something heard every second EconTalk episode or so. Seriously, if Maryland is that sheltered, the dissociation of that byzantine empire is closer at hand that you know.
  7. The current “official” rate is 5.5% ftr, a figure that assumes a potential labour force of only 145 mn against a population of 320 mn. Sorry weird eh ? I mean, those other 175 mn citoyens can’t all be retired or students right ? Then again, for a failed state that isn’t important and doesn’t matter, anything’s possible. Including very loose numerical vagaries.

4 thoughts on “The actual unemployment rate in the USA.

  1. […] and frankly unwarranted regurgitation of USG statistics regarding unemployment. What 5% ? Try 40% dood. As a student of history and a stout opponent of both statistical fallacies and abuses of […]

  2. […] argument here! Statistics are the road to hell whether your industry is epidemiology or economics or e-commerce. […]

  3. […] not my fault, of course. Data is widely abused. Everywhere we look in the modern world we see statistics, graphs, charts, survey […]

  4. […] own it, that it transcends economic class, that it starts conversations (extra important given our current unemployment situation), and that it can be extremely serious or extremely funny depending on your perspective, and […]

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