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> > From: Combs, Richard
> > The nationwide unemployment rate declined slightly last month from
> > to 5.0 per cent. That's up from the 4.6-4.9% range during
> > 2006-2007, but
> > still well below the average for the 1990s, which I believe
> > was close to
> > 6%.
> The unemployment rates are based on the number of people collecting UI
> benefits. When people have exhausted their benefits, then they are no
> longer counted, although they are still unemployed. If unemployment
> are high enough that the federal government needs to extend UI
> then there are a lot of people who are not being counted, so the
> unemployment rates are not accurate. The numbers will likely go up as
> people sign-up for extended benefits.
Karen L. Zorn wrote:
> But they don't count IDs, or those who drop off the UI lists. The
> unemployment count is about as accurate as Neilsen ratings.
No, it's not just the number of people getting UI, and people who've
exhausted UI benefits _are_ counted. Only people who state that they are
no longer looking for work are dropped.
Congress extends UI benefits or not based primarily on political
That said, counting the unemployed is, like most statistical and
demographic work, rather inexact. But the methodology -- and thus
accuracy -- is the same now as in the 90s, so comparisons are valid.
Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
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