5,552 people become statistically invisible in Connecticut

We’ve got mail. Most people probably do not realize how state and federal unemployment figures are put together. Of course, we need to compare apples to apples when looking at historical figures, but when you’re unemployed and politicians are claiming things are getting better, it can be a hard pill to swallow.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate went down from 8.7 percent to 8.4 percent. a .3 percent drop. One way to report this story would be to claim that 15 percent of the unemployment problem was solved in one month. That sounds great does it not?

I came up with that figure by subtracting the “full employment” rate – understood in economics to be 4.7 percent – and subtracting that number from the current state figures. So that means Connecticut’s unemployment rate went from 4.0 percent to 3.4 percent. That’s a 15 percent improvement in one month!

Sarcasm. Remember sarcasm? I don’t think unemployed reader LJS would like my sarcasm, but I hope he’ll forgive me. From the mail box today, with my emphasis in bold.

I took note of the freshly cooked unemployment figures proffered for public consumption; boasting a 0.3 percent drop from 8.7 to 8.4% – yet in the very next breath we are told that the state economy only added 100 new jobs… that’s right, one hundred jobs in a state with a population of about 3.5 million.

In October, 163,894 people qualified as unemployed. I am one of them. To effect a 0.3% decrease in the rate strictly through hiring, 5,652 jobs would have to be created yet our mathematical geniuses would have us believe that one hundred new jobs did the trick. Of course we know that the premise we’re expected to accept is untrue – the reason the rate went down is because 5,552 people (5,652 minus those 100 new jobs) gave up looking because as I can personally attest, no one is hiring.

What irks me further is the spin our state government is trying to put on it… to somehow impress on us that 5,552 people becoming statistically invisible because they’ve stopped trying to fish in an employment cesspool is a good thing… though it might well be an indication that the taxing orgy initiated by the Malloy administration is working – it’ll bring the unemployment numbers down to acceptable levels once enough people currently officially counted as unemployed realize that there will be no new jobs in the offing and give up looking. They just need to discourage another 94,192 people to bring the rate down to a nice acceptable 5%.

Think of it this way in terms of political polarization – the greatest recruiting tool conservatives have is liberal policies.


Again, to be fair, the unemployment figures have always been reported this way, but LJS creates an excellent learning opportunity for those – mostly employed – who blindly think things must be a lot better since the unemployment rate is dropping “so much.”

Do you think the media and politicians should be highlighting the U-6 unemployment rate as well as the more well-known U-3 unemployment rate? From Portal Seven.

The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work.

The columns represent months, Jan. through Dec., left to right. The U-6 figures… Note the .6 percent drop from Oct. to Nov. (Good thing right?)

And the more widely used U-3 unemployment rate.

23 replies
  1. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Anyone employed, and better yet by the gov’t, will see this exactly the way it is being spun. It does not effect them. To a fully employed person it matters not at all. To an under-employed person it only delays when they may be able to find a better job.

    Signed: one of the 5,552?

  2. essneff
    essneff says:

    Excellent post…..?the same bs is going on at the national level, you?know that the big “O” just needs another million or so unemployed to totally?give up?so?unemployment “drops under 8%” for his reelection?bid…… then, he can go on 60 minutes during his free?monthly campaign interview with Steve Kroft & claim success!??

  3. winnie
    winnie says:

    The media will nevah, evah, evah highlight the U-6 unemployment rate because the truth about what’s *really* happening would surely screw things for O’s reelection.? Gaia knows we can’t have that!

    • winnie
      winnie says:

      And as for CT following the federally preferred model in their reporting of unemployment numbers, no shock there…blue state (bs).? My prayer is that once I have my degree, certification and license I can pack up my family and move to Tennessee to practice.? CT is incapable of fixing itself and, while I vote, I know my vote doesn’t count for much in this state.

  4. Gary J
    Gary J says:

    Funny that all the people that write the laws, and do the statistics all have jobs. Good jobs at that. We won’t even go into benefits.

  5. dennis
    dennis says:

    The really sad thing about this is that the 163,000 “unemployed” will all vote Democrat because that is how they get paid. 99 weeks and still counting.

  6. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    Your sarcasm is appreciated Jim… it’s just frustrating to realize that if job creation were actually a priority with the government then they would have gotten out of the way and let the private sector create those jobs- but it seems clear that the only thing they are interested in creating is the illusion that their ill-advised policies are working.

    The problem for them is the fact that people like me are now paying attention since we have so much spare time on our hands.? If they could use the resources devoted to boondoggles like the bus way to New Britain, free? money to Jackson Labs, and? other pet projects to fill gaps created by cutting the tax rate for small businesses and rolling back mandates that compel them to keep staffing levels at a minimum, folks like me would be too busy working our 40-hour jobs to be bothered paying attention to what they are doing and the lies they expect us to believe.

    I’m in no real position to make any real difference but if I can help inspire others to pay closer attention to what’s going on and initiate discussion among the taxpayers who are in this boat together then I may have accomplished something.



    • stinkfoot
      stinkfoot says:

      On review it is Steve whose sarcasm is appreciated.? Glad the point could be made- regardless of who made it.? 🙂

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      I am sickened that a man as gifted as you are in understanding statistics does not have a job. In the past, a man like you would be sought after by banks and corporations as a cost accountant or auditor. Of course, I don’t know your education, but I was actually a bank auditor with no college degree, just experience as an insurance investigator.? Keep initiating discussion among taxpayers and maybe we can all return to the USA of promise and prosperity.? Let’s drink to a New Year!

      • stinkfoot
        stinkfoot says:

        Thank you
        With money wasted on a number of projects (bus to nowhere, Jackson Labs, etc.), the state could offer a $5,000 a head tax credit for any business hiring an unemployed person.? However, it seems that the only people in the administration concerning themselves with the unemployed are statisticians and speech writers; certainly not the policymakers.

  7. JBS
    JBS says:

    I have written on the perfidy of the manipulated and contorted state of labor statistics before. Employed politicians and their employed bureaucrats trot out these kitchen-prepared numbers every month. They are meaningless as other writers have noted above.
    It remains: the unemployment rate is just an abstract number from which to begin meaningful discussion. The reality is that whatever the number, it is too high and it obscures the faces and stories of real people who are NOT earning a vital paycheck. Shame on any administration that plays on the misfortunes of unemployed.
    “The fish rots from the head down.” Shame on ?bama! (Not that he gives a . . . )

  8. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    Well it seems that if the state didn’t throw away $291 million to lure Jackson Labs, which MAY give us 660 jobs in twenty years, $569 million for a busway between Hartford and New Britain, not to mention what taxpayer money was incinerated through the bioscience Connecticut pet project, there may have been less need to subtract money from the private sector through tax gouging which could have been spent on the economy- growing it and creating the need to hire some people.? The $860 million from those two projects alone comes out to a cool $5247.29 apiece for each person still counted as unemployed!??
    Gotta give the Governor a pass though- considering that his first priority is to see that the SEIU steals $2.5 million annually from day care…

  9. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    I just moments ago heard the governor himself tell Ray Dunaway that we’re seeing good news in the numbers.? it’s infuriating- particularly considering how he has acted to destroy employment and the economy through repressive taxation.? I do appreciate the work on the highways leading out of the state though- I suppose this is his little hint for us to leave.? That’ll bring the numbers down as well.

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