Good Question: Who Counts As Unemployed?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Thursday, President Obama will speak to the country about his job plan, but Bill from Fridley first wants to know: who counts as unemployed?

The national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. For every open job, there are 4.5 unemployed people competing.

The official stat only counts people who don’t have a job; who actively looked for work in the past four weeks; and are currently available for work. That’s about 14 million Americans.

It doesn’t include marginally attached and discouraged workers. Those are the 2.6 million people who’ve stopped looking because they’ve been passed over too many times, or they feel there are no jobs out there.

“You can’t give up, sooner or later you might get lucky — you might not,” said one job seeker.

And then there are the part-timers who want full-time work. About 8.8 million Americans had their hours cut, and are looking for more.

If we counted all of those people — our unemployment rate would be far above 9 percent. The real number is more like 16.2 percent.

A lot of people think the unemployment rate is figured out by counting people who file for unemployment, but that’s not true. It’s actually a giant, scientific, public opinion poll. About 60,000 households are called every month.

When Minnesota reports its unemployment numbers, the state is sharing how many people file for unemployment.

More from Jason DeRusha
  • Sue J

    You can add one more to that count in 2012, Obama.

  • Bruce Peck

    I am very sure that honesty, purity, & reality will transcend and that this will be discussed. Quickly admitting that there may be a problem, and trying something different to fix this problem as successful leaders do.

  • idiocracy

    Wait, so the count is even less accurate than those who apply for unemployment benefits? A F’ing poll?

    I just lost a little more faith in ‘the system’. Believe me, there isn’t much left.

  • to

    Healthcare bill

    At age 76 when you most need it, you are not eligible for cancer treatment
    What Nancy Pelosi didn’t want us to know until after the healthcare bill was
    passed. Remember she said, “pass it and then read it!!.” Here it is!
    Obama Care Highlighted by Page Number


    Judge Kithil of Marble Falls, TX – highlighted the most egregiouspages of HB3200

    Please read this…….. especially the reference to pages 58 & 59

    JUDGE KITHIL wrote:

    ** Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S.
    residents, even if they are here illegally.

    ** Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual’s
    bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from
    those accounts.

    ** Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all
    union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the
    Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now- ACORN).

    ** Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated
    as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)

    ** Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty,
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    ** Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the
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    ** Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital
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    ** Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning
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    ** Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an
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    HAD ENOUGH???? Judge Kithil then goes on to identify:

    “Finally, it is specifically stated that this bill will not apply to members of
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    If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick
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    – Honorable David Kithil of Marble Falls, Texas
    All of theabove should give you the point blank ammo you need to support your
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  • Who Counts As Unemployed? « CBS Minnesota

    […] Check out last night’s Good Question on that subject and see exactly how many. Share this No comments // […]

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