November 20, 2009

Unemployment Down, Lack of Jobs Up

Justin Katz

One wonders whether the editorializing in this Projo report of unemployment numbers follows some sort of template, because it's otherwise difficult to understand:

For the first time in nearly three years, Rhode Island's unemployment rate dropped, to 12.9 percent in October, offering a faint but reassuring sign that the state's economy may be on the road to improvement.

But in paragraph four:

And the state continues to bleed jobs, losing 1,100 more in October, a separate survey of employers shows. The work force also contracted, a potential signal that some of the most discouraged workers may have given up looking for work entirely.

How can it possibly be "reassuring" that the unemployment rate slightly decreased because thousands of people gave up their employment searches? Theoretically, unemployment could approach zero as the population admits utter economic ruin.

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It's simple. The reporter is either an irresponsible and illogical moron or she thinks we are.

When you don't know what you are talking about the best thing to do is not say anything until you figure it out.

The classic quote goes here:
"It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."


Posted by: Sol Venturi at November 20, 2009 10:21 AM

This also doesn't account for all of the people who are underemployed. Not only does RI lack jobs in general, but good career-track jobs with the potential for growth in particular. When you have people with high levels of education and training working in low-end jobs because nothing else is available in the state, then you have a problem. I also wonder what the attrition rate is for highly skilled and educated Rhode Islanders. Most people qualified for better positions would rather move to another state with more opportunties than accept a dead end job just to stay in RI. I don't think RI should be celebrating just yet. If highly skilled folks leave, potential employers in various businesses and industries have no incentive to come, and those who stay are opting for public assistance over the bleak job market, the future will not be bright.

Posted by: Tabetha at November 20, 2009 1:57 PM

If I remember correctly, .1 of a percent is within the margin of error for unemployment numbers so the "big" news here is, "unemployment rate same 2 months in a row." Stop the presses!

Posted by: Russ at November 20, 2009 2:45 PM

Maybe unemployment is down in the fake districts, and up in the real ones.

Posted by: George at November 20, 2009 3:00 PM
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