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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Abbott & Costello

US Dept of labor statistics as reported by Abbott and Costello

Costello: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
Abbott: Good subject, terrible times, it's 9%.
Costello: That many people are out of work.
Abbott: No that's 17%.
Costello: You just said 9%.
Abbott: 9% unemployed.
Costello: Right 9% out of work.
Abbott: No that's 17%.
Costello: Okay so it's 17% unemployed?
Abbott: No that's 9%.
Costello: Wait a minute, is it 9% or 17%?
Abbott: 9% are unemployed. 17% are out of work.
Costello: If you're out of work you are unemployed.
Abbott: No you can't count the out-of-work as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
Abbott: No, you miss the point.
Costello: What point?
Abbott: Some one who doesn't look for work can't be counted with those who look for work, it wouldn't be fair.
Costello: To who?
Abbott: The Unemployed.
Costello: But they are all out of work.
Abbott: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work ... those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up, and if you give up you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
Costello: So if you're off the unemployment role, that would count as less unemployment?
Abbott: Unemployment would go down, Absolutely!
Costello: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?
Abbott: Absolutely it goes down that's how you get 9%, otherwise it would be 17%. You don't want to read about 17% unemployment do ya?
Costello: That would be frightening.
Abbott: Absolutely.
Costello: Wait, I got a question for you, that means that they're two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
Abbott: Two ways is correct.
Costello: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
Abbott: Correct.
Costello: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
Abbott: Bingo.
Costello: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.
Abbott: Now you're thinking like an economist.
Costello: I don't even know what the hell I just said!


Anonymous said...

This the Obama type figures. If you have been unemployed for two or three years and give up looking for work they don't count you in the unempoyment figures. That is why our true unemployed rate is about 20%.

Anonymous said...

I'm at 3 years and trying to be an ind"dependent contractor to make ends meet, We're operating maybe 6 months a year with 3 "new" employees, but the real fact is, we're all in poverty and just trying to get through this until we can get "real " jobs... Sucks, but unemployment ran out and jobs never kicked in, so we're all out here in "plus 9% land" which probably looks more like 40% unemployment, but more like 60% for construction jobs.

Bottom lin, Life is sucking big wind for the construction industry, whether you are working or not!