Unemployment: Official vs. Reality

Chapter 18

Unemployment: Official vs. Reality

The current “official” unemployment rate is reported at 6.7%, as of the writing of this chapter (April 2015). Does that seem right to you? My guess is that it does not and for a very obvious reason. About the only way that the government can track this number is via the folks that are collecting unemployment benefits and who are actively seeking employment. Other than that, no one else counts.

Most sources put the “actual” level of employable unemployed at close to 14%. This includes folks that are no longer eligible for benefits and others that have simply given up. Keep in mind that this number is simply an estimate, but in my opinion it is a more “real” number than the “official” one.

We can evaluate the situation from another angle (stats from the “national debt clock”:

Total potential workforce ages 15 – 65 = 256,000,000

Current work force = 148,500,000

Self-employed = 8,500,000

Disabled = 11,000,000

Incarcerated = 2,300,000ut

On welfare = 12,700,000

Persons available to work, but not employed = 63,000,000 or 24.6%

While I have probably missed a few unemployable categories it does appear that this does support the higher “actual” unemployment rate as opposed to the “official”.