Re: [OPE] Hillel Ticktin, "Notes on the Last Few Months"

From: Paul Zarembka <>
Date: Sun Jan 18 2009 - 10:12:59 EST

There is something wrong with the current world unemployment rate of the
labor force being claimed to be 6% currently (is this to be Marx's floating
reserve army of labor against the total labor force?) while 25% in the

Just take the unemployment rates in China, India and the Soviet Union in
the 1930s. In these countries, for different reasons, the unemployment
rate for the total labor force was closer to 1-2%. Brazil in the 1930s did
not go to very high unemployment levels. Etc.

My point is that the numbers require a lot of work to figure out a

Paul Z.

--On 1/17/2009 2:49 PM +0100 Jurriaan Bendien wrote:

> At the moment there is a total world population of 6.7 billion of which
> about 3 billion (about 45%) are employed (ILO data) and circa 190 million
> "officially" unemployed (6%).
> If world unemployment rose to 10% of the global labour force by 2010,
> this would mean circa 320 million+ unemployed, or an extra 130 million+
> unemployed. If world unemployment rose to 20% (not very likely just now)
> then you would have in excess of 600 million unemployed globally. 600
> million unemployed is about four times the size of the whole US
> workforce.
> In the 1930s there was a total world population of about 2 billion.
> Guesstimate that circa 850 million of those were employed, and a maximal
> grand average unemployment rate in the 1930s of about 25%, then you would
> conclude that the maximum global number of unemployed in the 1930s must
> have been somewhat in excess of the 200 million people mark.
> That is to say, global unemployment today "in absolute terms" is
> quantitatively about the same level as it was in the 1930s depression -
> it is just that, because there are more than three times as many people
> alive today, the relative proportion of global unemployed today is only
> about a quarter of the maximum it reached back then.
> Of course the official unemployment figures typically understate true
> joblessness by a factor of about 20-25% on grand average. For example, in
> the US you have a working age population of about 204 million, of which
> about 143 million are employed and 11 million officially unemployed. This
> leaves about 50 million people in the working-age bracket who are
> "jobless" because of school, childraising, illness or "some other
> reason". The official US unemployment rate is about 7.2%, but the real US
> unemployment rate is more like 8.8% or close to 9%, meaning that in
> reality about one out of ten US working-age adults is unemployed rather
> than one out of fourteen.
> J.

(Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11 Seven Stories Press soft, 2nd ed. 2008
(Vol.24) TRANSITIONS IN LATIN AMERICA ~~~Research in Political Economy~~~

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