Friday, July 17, 2009

Will 1 in 5 US workers soon be unemployed?

The unemployment figures quoted are the narrowest definition, U3, which only includes those receiving unemployment benefits. A broader definition, U6, includes those who are discouraged and have given up, whose benefits have run out, or who can only find part-time work well below their capabilities. So, in June 2009, while U3 was "only" 9.5%, U6 was 16.5%, or one in 6 Americans. By the time U3 hits its peak, at perhaps 11-12%, U6 may well reach 205, or one in 5 Americans. This is a disaster not seen since the Great Depression (when it almost reached 30%), and number which will scar a generation.

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