There was a shadow over the national conventions of both political parties. The people know that the economy is much worse than anyone in the power structure will admit. As usual, the people are right. The real rate of unemployment is 23%, not the official figures we hear on a regular basis. The 23% figure represents all of those unemployed no matter how long, the involuntarily under employed (part time), and those who have given up looking, the discouraged, due to an chronically arid job market. If either wing of The Money Party, Democratic or Republican, admits to the the real unemployment situation, they would be forced to admit a complete system failure and compelled to act now. There would be no choice but to drop the nonsense about austerity and balanced budgets.
Here is how the fantasy of the official unemployment figure works.
Official unemployment includes those who are both unemployed during the week of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey and without a job for the prior four weeks.
The official unemployment number we see excludes those marginally attached to the labor force, discouraged workers, and those working part time due to the absence of full time work. The Alternative unemployment statistic is always higher than the official version. It includes most of the unemployed but excludes discouraged workers after twelve months without a job (See Appendix). In the chart above, you will see the official government unemployment number (U-3), the alternative number (U-6), and the shadowstats.com figure, which includes U-3 and U-6 plus all those unemployed who have given up. That represents 23% of the work force. (Graph Courtesy of Shadowstats.Com Shadow Government Statistics – John Williams)
How can citizens make responsible decisions when the official unemployment rate, 8.1%, is just 35% of the real unemployment rate, 23%?