Youngstown State University Study: America’s True Jobless Rate at 30.5%

Now this is interesting.

A model for tracking America’s true joblessness puts the nation’s figure at 30.5 percent in August, not the official 9.6 percent, a Youngstown State University labor analyst said Friday.

The YSU report shows the need not only for more government stimulus spending but also for a national industrial policy that includes tariffs and incentives to encourage business research and development, said John Russo, co-director of YSU’s Center for Working-Class Studies.

Russo urged “a lot more money” for job training and greater investment to repair aging roads, bridges and other infrastructure, along with a program to encourage companies to hire and keep their business in the U.S.

Tariffs and duties on foreign goods are needed to “level the playing field in terms of trade policy,” Russo said. “We have to get our trade policy in order. We need fair trade instead of free trade.”

He brushed aside the threat of a possible trade war in which other countries might retaliate by slapping tariffs on American goods.

“There might be (a trade war), but we don’t have free trade right now. What are we arguing about as we lose all of our industries and manufacturing?” he said.

He cited a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that showed the Warren-Youngstown-Boardman area lost about 22,000 nonfarm jobs from January 2008 through August 2010, falling to 216,800.

The Working-Class Studies jobless report’s jobless percentage is much higher than the official government tally because it includes marginally attached workers – people who have worked or looked for work in the last 12 months but not in the four weeks prior to the survey – along with discouraged workers who have looked for work in the 12 months before the survey. Neither group is counted in the labor force.

The YSU study also includes the underemployed – people who aren’t able to get full-time jobs due to the economy; people on sick leave or early retirement; recipients of government aid, such as a low-wage worker getting Earned Income Tax Credits, or prison and jail populations.

Russo noted a recent development in which large numbers of workers have unexpectedly filed for Social Security before they have reached early retirement because they’ve given up looking for work and so aren’t counted in the unemployment rate.

The 30.5 percent jobless rate may actually be low because it doesn’t include would-be workers who choose to return to school after they can’t find a job, Russo said.
http://www.tribtoday.com/page/content.detail/id/546814/University-study-shows-true-jobless-rate-at-30-5-percent.html

The government model doesn’t include people who have simply given up looking for work; which would add a significant percentage to the figures. I’ve long suspected that the nationwide 10% estimation was way off.

1 thought on “Youngstown State University Study: America’s True Jobless Rate at 30.5%”

  1. Ah, academics. They have no real world experience but hold all the answers.

    The conclusions that this calls for are ridiculous as they are historically proven to be ineffective. Job training in what? Green jobs are a sham much like the IT jobs training program. We all know what happened to those jobs and the same will happen to green jobs. The truth is solar costs much more a MWh than oil, gas or especially coal. The following can be found at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31760.

    “The U.S. Energy Information Administration calculates that taxpayers subsidize solar and wind energy at more than $23 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced. Yet they are still too costly to be competitive: Combined, they produce less than one percent of the nation’s power. Compare the green subsidies to the energy sources reviled by environmentalists, such as natural gas (25 cents per MWh in subsidies), coal (44 cents), hydroelectricity (67 cents), and nuclear power ($1.59).

    Even with massive new infusions of government cash, there’s only so far renewables can come down the cost curve. The energy sources they seek to harness are diffuse and diluted, requiring huge amounts of space to offer what coal or gasoline or especially uranium offer in relatively small packages. Forcing Americans to get their energy from more expensive sources will — no surprise — drive up costs all across the board. And higher energy costs usually mean job losses, particularly in energy-intensive industries like heavy manufacturing. ”

    Construction jobs? Yeah that’s a real good option for the 45+ group, especially the white males. After all, the construction trades are all just over brimming with work. Just don’t tell that to the workers who are out hustling for any kind of fill in work. More to the point, federal money brings with it employment quotas for the favored races and females. Fuggedaboutit!

    I loved seeing this one, “Tariffs and duties on foreign goods are needed to “level the playing field in terms of trade policy,” Russo said. “We have to get our trade policy in order. We need fair trade instead of free trade.

    He brushed aside the threat of a possible trade war in which other countries might retaliate by slapping tariffs on American goods.

    “There might be (a trade war), but we don’t have free trade right now. What are we arguing about as we lose all of our industries and manufacturing?” he said.”

    Back in the Great Depression, when we were a manufacturing powerhouse, the resulting trade wars were what put the Great in the Great Depression. A very good article (by actual economists) is here http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3280. Briefly quoted the thesis is, “The Great Depression of the 1930s was marked by a severe outbreak of protectionism. Many fear that, unless policymakers are on guard, protectionist pressures could once again spin out of control. What do we know about the spread of protectionism then, and what are the implications for today?

    While many aspects of the Great Depression continue to be debated, there is all-but-universal agreement that the adoption of restrictive trade policies was destructive and counterproductive and that similarly succumbing to protectionism in our current slump should be avoided at all cost.”

    At what point will we realize that government is not the answer. It is their interventions that create the problems that they then want to intervene on only to create a bigger and deeper mess. Limited government gets out of the way and lets trade, prices and employment find their way in an open and free market place. Trying to guarantee equal results is a mistaken concept that can never work. Some people are going to do well. Some people are going to fail. The expectation that the government will provide a safety net that guarantees not only survival but health and happiness is exactly the problem.

    Nothing sharpens the senses and impels creative action like the growling belly of a hungry person working for their own survival, health and happiness. Utter dependence is slavery to a master who, once the dependence is cemented, can direct his property in any chosen direction by tugging on the ring through their nose.

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