[OPE] US unemployment at 10.2%

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Sat Nov 07 2009 - 08:44:21 EST

Just as I forecast more than a year ago, the US unemployment rate of the
labour force has now gone over 10% to 10.2%. Some 15.7 million US workers
are now classed as unemployed, of which one-third, 5.6 million, are
unemployed for more than half a year. The U5 jobless rate is now 11.6% and
the U6 measure (which includes underemployed parttime workers) stands at

Doug Henwood raised the spectre of 25% unemployment. This is not realistic
if that is taken to mean the official unemployment rate of the labour force,
but if you take the U6 broad measure, the total could conceivably still rise
over 20%. About a million US workers dropped out of the labour force
altogether, in one year.

What is particularly striking is that the highest incidence of US
unemployment is precisely in the core productive sectors of the economy -
construction, manufacturing, farming and transport workers - while the
lowest rate is among professional and managerial occupations.

The US working-age population (16 to 65 years) is now about 235 million. Out
of these about 138 million (59%) are employed in the non-farm civilian
labour force for a salary, so there are 97 million working-age people (41%)
outside this sphere.

About 47 million of those are enrolled in educational institutions. I assume
there are about 26 million housewives looking after kids, 5 million in
institutional care (hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, mental asylums and
the like), 1 million farmers, 1 million prostitutes, 2 million prisoners
(many of whom do work), and 1 million military, that's 35 million
altogether. That leaves 15 million, an amount about equal to the officially
unemployed. So what do they do?



ope mailing list
Received on Sat Nov 7 08:46:05 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Nov 30 2009 - 00:00:02 EST