Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bleak Unemployment Picture

BLS Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary - 27 March 09

Regional and state unemployment rates were nearly all higher in February. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia recorded over-the-month unemployment rate increases, while all 50 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates than a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The national unemployment rate rose from 7.6 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February, which was 3.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

In February, the West and Midwest again posted the highest regional jobless rates, 9.2 and 8.6 percent, respectively. The Northeast recorded the lowest rate, 7.7 percent. All four regions registered statistically significant unemployment rate increases from January, led by the Northeast (+0.6 percentage point). All four regions also reported significant jobless rate increases from February 2008, the largest of which was recorded in the West (+3.9 percentage points).

In February, Michigan again reported the highest jobless rate, 12.0 percent. The states with the next highest rates were South Carolina, 11.0 percent; Oregon, 10.8 percent; North Carolina, 10.7 percent; California and Rhode Island, 10.5 percent each; and Nevada, 10.1 percent.

Note: The National Unemployment Rate will be updated this Friday. The rate of unemployment ( as captured in the widely reported yet severely understated BLS's U-3 Data) is expected to rise from 8.1% to 8.5%.

The current (released on March 6th) BLS U-6 Unemployment Data however - which includes discouraged workers, marginally attached workers, and those who work part time for economic reasons - is a whopping 14.8% (see figure circled in red below - click pic for larger image)

John Williams at goes even one step further in representing the true figure. By adjusting for measurements that were defined away during the Clinton Administration and then adding them to the existing BLS estimates of U-6 unemployment data, the picture becomes a staggering 19% National Unemployment Rate (Blue line below):

C-Span Interview w/Economist John Williams on the Real Unemployment Rate (Late Jan 09). John calculates the jobless rate is a full 10% higher than that which the government is reporting:

Here's another video. Feb 09 MSNBC Interview with Dan Gross from Newsweek - who says the BLS figures are a complete myth and should be doubled:

Bottom Line and Your Takeaway:

We're much closer to Great Depression Unemployment levels than the Gvt wants you to believe - and it's likely to get much worse in the months/potentially years ahead.



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