U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-03-2011, 12:20 PM
 
1,652 posts, read 2,316,139 times
Reputation: 1457

Advertisements

Quote:
The real unemployment rate is probably almost double what the BLS says. The BLS only counts the unemployed if they are currently receiving unemployment checks
I've seen comments like the above over and over on this forum. Most being used to bash the Obama Administration for fudging the numbers and ignoring all the folks who are no longer eligible and therefore artificially lowering the number.

These are just blatantly misinformed posts... and they are rampant here. I see a comment similar to the above on this forum many times a day.

I thought it would be helpful for folks to read exactly how the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE is actually determined (see below, I've bolded for the skimmers).

How the Government Measures Unemployment

Quote:
Where do the statistics come from?

Early each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor announces the total number of employed and unemployed persons in the United States for the previous month, along with many characteristics of such persons. These figures, particularly the unemployment rate—which tells you the percent of the labor force that is unemployed—receive wide coverage in the media.

Some people think that to get these figures on unemployment, the Government uses the number of persons filing claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under State or Federal Government programs. But some people are still jobless when their benefits run out, and many more are not eligible at all or delay or never apply for benefits. So, quite clearly, UI information cannot be used as a source for complete information on the number of unemployed.

Other people think that the Government counts every unemployed person each month. To do this, every home in the country would have to be contacted—just as in the population census every 10 years. This procedure would cost way too much and take far too long. Besides, people would soon grow tired of having a census taker come to their homes every month, year after year, to ask about job-related activities.

Because unemployment insurance records relate only to persons who have applied for such benefits, and since it is impractical to actually count every unemployed person each month, the Government conducts a monthly sample survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country. The CPS has been conducted in the United States every month since 1940, when it began as a Work Projects Administration project. It has been expanded and modified several times since then. For instance, beginning in 1994, the CPS estimates reflect the results of a major redesign of the survey. (For more information on the CPS redesign, see Chapter 1, "Labor Force Data Derived from the Current Population Survey," in the BLS Handbook of Methods.)

There are about 60,000 households in the sample for this survey. This translates into approximately 110,000 individuals, a large sample compared to public opinion surveys which usually cover fewer than 2,000 people. The CPS sample is selected so as to be representative of the entire population of the United States. In order to select the sample, all of the counties and county-equivalent cities in the country first are grouped into 2,025 geographic areas (sampling units). The Census Bureau then designs and selects a sample consisting of 824 of these geographic areas to represent each State and the District of Columbia. The sample is a State-based design and reflects urban and rural areas, different types of industrial and farming areas, and the major geographic divisions of each State. (For a detailed explanation of CPS sampling methodology, see Chapter 1, of the BLS Handbook of Methods.)

Every month, one-fourth of the households in the sample are changed, so that no household is interviewed more than 4 consecutive months. This practice avoids placing too heavy a burden on the households selected for the sample. After a household is interviewed for 4 consecutive months, it leaves the sample for 8 months, and then is again interviewed for the same 4 calendar months a year later, before leaving the sample for good. This procedure results in approximately 75 percent of the sample remaining the same from month to month and 50 percent from year to year.

Each month, 2,200 highly trained and experienced Census Bureau employees interview persons in the 60,000 sample households for information on the labor force activities (jobholding and jobseeking) or non-labor force status of the members of these households during the survey reference week (usually the week that includes the 12th of the month). At the time of the first enumeration of a household, the interviewer prepares a roster of the household members, including their personal characteristics (date of birth, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, marital status, educational attainment, veteran status, and so on) and their relationships to the person maintaining the household. This information, relating to all household members 15 years of age and over, is entered by the interviewers into laptop computers; at the end of each day's interviewing, the data collected are transmitted to the Census Bureau's central computer in Washington, D.C. (The labor force measures in the CPS pertain to individuals 16 years and over.) In addition, a portion of the sample is interviewed by phone through three central data collection facilities. (Prior to 1994, the interviews were conducted using a paper questionnaire that had to be mailed in by the interviewers each month.)

Each person is classified according to the activities he or she engaged in during the reference week. Then, the total numbers are "weighted," or adjusted to independent population estimates (based on updated decennial census results). The weighting takes into account the age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and State of residence of the person, so that these characteristics are reflected in the proper proportions in the final estimates.

A sample is not a total count, and the survey may not produce the same results that would be obtained from interviewing the entire population. But the chances are 90 out of 100 that the monthly estimate of unemployment from the sample is within about 290,000 of the figure obtainable from a total census. Since monthly unemployment totals have ranged between about 7 and 11 million in recent years, the possible error resulting from sampling is not large enough to distort the total unemployment picture.

Because these interviews are the basic source of data for total unemployment, information must be factual and correct. Respondents are never asked specifically if they are unemployed, nor are they given an opportunity to decide their own labor force status. Unless they already know how the Government defines unemployment, many of them may not be sure of their actual classification when the interview is completed.

Similarly, interviewers do not decide the respondents' labor force classification. They simply ask the questions in the prescribed way and record the answers. Based on information collected in the survey and definitions programmed into the computer, individuals are then classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force.

All interviews must follow the same procedures to obtain comparable results. Because of the crucial role interviewers have in the household survey, a great amount of time and effort is spent maintaining the quality of their work. Interviewers are given intensive training, including classroom lectures, discussion, practice, observation, home-study materials, and on-the-job training. At least once a year, they attend day-long training and review sessions. Also, at least once a year, they are accompanied by a supervisor during a full day of interviewing to determine how well they carry out their assignments.

A selected number of households are reinterviewed each month to determine whether the information obtained in the first interview was correct. The information gained from these reinterviews is used to improve the entire training program.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 04-03-2011 at 07:25 PM.. Reason: Verified that this material is within the public domain, so copyright does not apply.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:05 PM
 
Location: The Republic of Texas
78,284 posts, read 41,279,986 times
Reputation: 18175
I have said this over and over.

If we calculated unemployment as they did in the 1930's we would see numbers above 20%
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Southcentral Kansas
44,884 posts, read 30,853,167 times
Reputation: 4269
Quote:
Originally Posted by BentBow View Post
I have said this over and over.

If we calculated unemployment as they did in the 1930's we would see numbers above 20%
The government has all kinds of things that make it easier and makes things appear as they would have them. I read enough of that crap up there to see that this administration is no different than the rest.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:16 PM
 
Location: The Heartland
4,457 posts, read 3,959,951 times
Reputation: 759
Quote:
Originally Posted by roysoldboy View Post
The government has all kinds of things that make it easier and makes things appear as they would have them. I read enough of that crap up there to see that this administration is no different than the rest.
Yeah, there is always a way to spin things to the way you want them to be perceived like saying that war isn't really war.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:18 PM
 
1,465 posts, read 4,857,269 times
Reputation: 857
Sporin, perhaps you believe the government's inflation rate too?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:19 PM
Status: "Privatize google" (set 3 days ago)
 
38,547 posts, read 20,934,454 times
Reputation: 18955
Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntownVentura View Post
Sporin, perhaps you believe the government's inflation rate too?
Inflation? what inflation? lol
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
21,347 posts, read 7,928,804 times
Reputation: 33323
It's called Fuzzy Math.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:25 PM
 
2,515 posts, read 1,862,922 times
Reputation: 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
I've seen comments like the above over and over on this forum. Most being used to bash the Obama Administration for fudging the numbers and ignoring all the folks who are no longer eligible and therefore artificially lowering the number.

These are just blatantly misinformed posts... and they are rampant here. I see a comment similar to the above on this forum many times a day.

I thought it would be helpful for folks to read exactly how the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE is actually determined (see below, I've bolded for the skimmers).

How the Government Measures Unemployment
They are paying out for an unemployment rate of over 17% Take the unemployment rate in Nov of 2007 and the unemployment pay out in the same month and drive the pay out in Nov of 2010 by the payout then and then multiply it by the rate then and you get just over 17% I smell a rat
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:27 PM
 
2,515 posts, read 1,862,922 times
Reputation: 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank DeForrest View Post
Inflation? what inflation? lol
Deflation in M3 inflation in M1. Go figure. I want inflation in M3 but in order to get it we need the prices of houses to be going up. How do you get that? raise the minimum wage by 4X.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 11,367,204 times
Reputation: 4120
That's life in the big city. As you get farther away from unbiased measures of unemployment, the more problems you have with people.

If people think that asking folks about their situation is the better measure then claim numbers, I would be happy to introduce you to some of my family.

I have an aunt who has delusions of adequacy being a secretary for educational institutions. She barely functions doing that, and has been fired from 3 colleges for pretending to be the assistant dean of the college. She is perpetually unemployed or under-employed because she insanely thinks she is smarter then anything that moves under its own power.

You can meet my uncle, who thinks he is the master of wood working, master photographer, and computer master mind. What everyone else gets to watch is him ruining good wood, fail at getting his subject in the damn frame, and I quit fixing his failures at even operating his PC. His last job was failing at a plastics factory till getting fired for incompetence 10 years ago.

His son is even worse, no one knows what he does. He's either the greatest medical student (to grace the halls of a non-existent medical school), a screen-writing master (who spends the day getting drunk at Starbucks), or a stand up comedy teacher (I didn't ask honestly). He is always unemployed, or underemployed.

That's a small sample of stories I can get from my own family, plus the fun stories I have gotten from friends. People who don't think others can lie or exaggerate need to grow the hell up and get their heads in the real world for a change. Instead of the fiction people seem to weave in their minds.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top