July 16, 2009


Carroll Andrew Morse

From United Press International

Add the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time employment and those who have given up looking for work and the unemployment rate reaches 23.5 percent in Oregon, more than one in every five workers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

In Michigan and Rhode Island, the unemployment rate with the two extra groups added would reach 21.5 percent. In California, it would reach 20.3 percent.


In the comments section of the original New York Times article that reported the statistics, reporter David Leonhardt can't figure out why things should be so bad here…

South Carolina, likewise, is a manufacturing-heavy state....Rhode Island is more of a mystery. It has some manufacturing, but not a ton. It’s probably also been hit by the housing crash, since parts of the state are Boston exurbs
But there is an upside of their general lack of knowledge about our problems in Rhode Island -- at least our troubles are not being blamed on us being surly and neurotic!

Leonhardt also adds this interesting bit…

These broad unemployment rates have soared over the last two years. In California, the rate was under 10 percent two years ago. This spring, it was above 20 percent. You can say the same about Oregon. In South Carolina and Rhode Island, the rate was below 9 percent two years ago. Now it’s above 20 percent.

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There has always been some "water" inthe unemployment numbers. I am not sure I have it exactly. In short, after you have been unemployed for 6 months, it is assumed you are no longer looking for work and are dropped from the numbers. I have never known what that number might be.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at July 16, 2009 12:59 PM
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