Man, I’m so glad I’m in an Economics c…

Man, I’m so glad I’m in an Economics class so I can spot shenanigans like this:

An 8.5% unemployment rate is unmistakably bad. It’s the highest rate since 1983 — a year that saw double-digit unemployment, nearly 30 commercial bank failures and more than 15% of Americans living below the poverty line.

But the real national unemployment rate is far worse than the U.S. Department of Labor’s March figure, announced today, shows. That’s because the official rate doesn’t include the 3.7 million-plus people who are reluctantly working only part time because of the poor labor market. And it doesn’t include the workers who have given up scouring want ads for seemingly nonexistent jobs.

The “real” unemployment rate? We can make up new metrics now? They claim that two groups of people aren’t included in the unemployment rate: those working part-time instead of full-time and those who have given up looking for work.

The first group are people who are employed. Why are they not being included in the “real” unemployment rate? Because they’re not unemployed.

The second group are what my economics text call “discouraged workers”. And, by the definition of how unemployment is calculated, they are never included. That 25% unemployment during the Great Depression meant that for every three guys who had a job, there was one looking for one. It didn’t count guys who couldn’t be arsed to look for work then, and I’m not sure why it should all of a sudden.

Unless the US DoLabor wants to scare the pants off of us for some reason. More stimulus, anyone?