The real unemployment rate in the United States is not the currently stated “upbeat” rate of below 9% but is actually more like 15%, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Fox News explains that currently published statistics exclude people who want to work but have not looked for a position in the past four weeks. Additionally,people who are have part time jobs but would rather work full time are also not logged as unemployed. It is only by excluding these people from the unemployment statistics that the rate is stated as being below 15 percent. A far more disturbing facet of the current jobless situation involves the percentage of unemployed people who have been seeking a job for more than six months These people, who are referred to as the long term unemployed now comprise more than 40 percent of the total number of jobless in December. This percentage has remained above 40% since 2009. The last time such a high percentage of the total unemployed had been out of work so long was in 1948, which was the first year in which such statistics were kept.
If the purpose of unemployment statistics is to provide an accurate picture of our nation’ problems, then the number used by the Congressional Budget Office are what we should be looking at. The White House numbers are useful as propaganda. The OMB report explains the significance of its findings and make recommendations for lessening real unemployment. It is this level of candour and practicality that is what is needed to face our nation’s future. This attitude is notably absent from the Obama White House.