U.S. Unemployment May Be 16%

In a statement released yesterday, U.S. Unemployment may be as high as 165 when you factor in people who have dropped out of the labor poor and those who are not working as much as they would like. Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart indicated that these were his own views. The latest official estimate of unemployment is 9.4%. Mr. Lockhart is the first federal official to imply unemployment during this recession was on par with unemployment during the Great Depression. He indicated he thinks the recession is ending, but that the economy is still wobbling. He further stated he expects a high protracted unemployment rate for the foreseeable future.

I have to admit, I never considered the number of people who had given up trying to find work when figuring up the unemployment numbers. I had always thought that number of people was included in the official unemployment report. Taken with the number of people who are not getting enough work, that 16% unemployment number is astounding. I can remember, just in my local area, employers were begging for workers just recently as a year ago. Now, just trying to find a minimum wage job is nearly impossible. Businesses continue to close and unemployment in my area continues to rise despite that new Thyssenkrupp steel mill that will open up next year. They are supposed to hire about 1500 permanent workers. But, that will only ease unemployment only slightly. It appears that high unemployment, nationwide, is going to be with us for at least another year or possibly longer.

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