Friday, June 5, 2009

9.4% of nothing is still nothing: Unemployment rate is not easing off...

The unemployment rate "jumped" to 9.4% in May, and thank God the media is now starting to include the point that if other factors are taken into account--people who have stopped looking, people who are working for a lot less, seasonal workers--the unemployment rate would be around 16.4%. I've been saying that all along, but since I don't blog for the Huffington Post, what the hell do I know, huh?

Okay, big time media gurus, here's another little factoid from the trenches that you in your ivory towers wouldn't know. Remember folks, you heard this first from Action Bob Markle.

It's reported that the pace of job reduction is slowing down. First, I don't know why the difference between pace and rate is so important. I'm sure someone good at splitting hairs can explain this, but frankly, it doesn't mean anything. What's happening is there are fewer people being laid off as we roll through 2009, and that's taken as a good thing. And this is where you don't listen to the experts.

Answer me this: You have 100 apples in a basket. And each month I want you to take away 10%. The first month you take away 10. The second month you take away 9. The next month 8, all the way to the tenth month where you'd take away one. The rate is the same, but the pace is slower, for the simple fact there are less apples in the basket. There are simply less people to lay off. Companies can't lay off everyone, for land's sake.

Just a good way of showing how numbers can be manipulated, and you can't believe everything you read. Or at least, you have to still be able to think, and not be spoon-fed everything that's in news.

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