Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Rising Tide of Unemployment in America: How Bad Will It Get, And What Can We Do?

By       Message George Washington       (Page 1 of 9 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 8/27/09

Author 8941
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -

Unemployment is disastrous on both the individual and societal level.

Individuals who look for work but can't find it are miserable.

On the national level, high unemployment is both cause and effect concerning other problems with the economy. As we'll see below, high unemployment results from a weak economy and - in turn - weakens the economy.

Until the causes of, and solutions to, high levels of unemployment are understood, we will not be able to solve the problem.

- Advertisement -

How High is Unemployment?

Before we can even start looking at causes or solutions, we have to understand what the current level of unemployment really is, and what the trends portend for the future.

Let's use America as an example. With the largest economy in the world, it has often been said that "when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold". And much of the rest of the world has adopted the "Washington Consensus" - America's neoliberal view of economics.[1] Moreover, the rest of the world has been infected by many types of "toxic assets" invented in America, such as credit default swap derivatives[2], as well as Wall Street style banking strategies. So I will use the United States has a case example, but will also touch on global trends.

- Advertisement -
Official figures put unemployment in the United States somewhere between 9 and 10 percent. But the official figures use a very different measure for unemployment than was used during the Great Depression and for many decades afterwards.

Specifically, the official unemployment reports of the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide conventional "U-3" figures and various alternative measures including "U-6". [3]

For example, as of December 2008, U-3 unemployment was 7.2 percent, while U-6 was 13.5 percent. [4]

U-6 is actually more accurate, because it includes those who would like full-time work, but can only find part-time work, or have given up looking for work altogether.

As can be seen by the December 2008 figures, U-6 unemployment rate can almost double the more commonly-cited U-3 figures.

But those in the know argue that the real rate is actually even higher than the U-6 figures.

For example, PhD economist John Williams [5] and Paul Craig Roberts [6] - former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and former editor of the Wall Street Journal - both said in December 2008 that - if the unemployment rate was calculated as it was during the Great Depression - the December 2008 unemployment figure would actually have been 17.5%.

- Advertisement -
Williams says [7] that unemployment figures for July 2009 rose to 20.6% [8].

According to an article [9] summarizing the projections of former International Monetary Fund Chief Economist and Harvard University Economics Professor Kenneth Rogoff and University of Maryland Economics Professor Carmen Reinhart, U-6 unemployment could rise to 22% within the next 4 years or so.

As the New York Times pointed out in July [10] :

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It


George Washington

As a political activist for decades, I have rejoiced in victories for the people and mourned in defeats. I chose the pen name "George Washington" because - as Washington's biographies show - he wasn't a (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Top Financial Experts Say World War 3 Is Coming -- Unless We Stop It

Indonesian Health Minister Says Swine Flu Might Have Been Man-Made | Epidemiologists and Virologists Need to Weigh In

Obama Is Considering Doing Something Even Bush Didn't Try: "Preventive Detention" of People Who Will Never Get a Trial

How To Solve the Economic Crisis

The Four Reasons the Mainstream Media Is Worthless

5 Reasons that Corporate Media Coverage is Pro-War