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Do you know how unemployment is calculated? -- A tale of 2 employment surveys, at a glance

The economy lost a net 125,000 jobs in June — the first monthly loss this year. Yet the unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent.

How did that happen? It's because of how the government calculates who's employed and who isn't.

The government does two employment surveys each month.

Read on--


Asked by mancosmomma at 10:27 AM on Jul. 3, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (7,315 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • This to me is a more believe statistic.  Broader rate unemployment goes over 17%


    Answer by musicmom08 at 4:35 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • so people who just gave up looking don't count, even if they're collecting. Well, that's sparklingly dishonest.

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:55 AM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • This is why I'm happy more news outlets have started reporting the U6 numbers (aka the real unemployment). If only the majors would start waiting on it and ignoring the big press conference they have to distract everyone with the engineered number every month.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:26 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • probably because most peoples unemployment extentions ran out between this month and last month.

    It's calculated by those that can work who get some type of assistance or help.


    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:57 AM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • As for the "household survey" most people I know never get such a survey so you can pretty much exclude that as actually being helpful.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:59 AM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • "The unemployment survey doesn't include those who are under-employed, or self-employed people who have lost their businesses or are close to losing their businesses. Our true unemployment rate is much higher."

    Exactly! My dh wouldn't be included in the survey even though his business is all but closed. He has moved his office home, he's done everything to cut costs and he just can't make it. He is looking for a job now, and still collecting a little bit of money due to clients he will keep on a part-time basis. I don't count either because I am working... part-time. It was the only actual job offer I'd had in over a year after countless interviews, so I took it. I know many other people who are in a similar situation to ours. Our income had been cut in half when dh lost his job and then started his own business, then it was cut more when I lost my job, now it's the lowest it's ever been...

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 12:17 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • LOL Oh but they mean well. Facts are a stupid survey of the Country would have to be might big to get a correct estimation of anything.
    Anything the governmetn does or says has been changed or skewed in one way or another. I don't know why anyone would believe anything they said.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 1:06 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • This link is very outlines how they arrive at the unemployment numbers.


    Answer by stacymomof2 at 3:41 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • Hey, thanks for all those links! This has always confused the heck out of me, how there can be such a disparity in the numbers and nothing ever matches up!

    I knew that I was in for a rough ride when shortly after I filed for UC in Jan 08, I was instructed to attend a special class at the Job Center. Turns out that they required all those who were a bit "older" AND who were in fields that were being phased out had to take this class that was supposed to help us deal with those feelings of inadequacy, help us figure out what kind of aid we could/should apply for. We also had to take a "test" called a passport, the results of which were supposed to be basically a summary of how smart we are. This was said to be the wave of the future, and was going to be required of all HS students, and we were lucky because we got to do it before THEY did! Ooooh, yay! ~~continued~~

    Answer by 29again at 10:02 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • ~~continued~~

    I got the paper with the results, not a certificate like I was led to believe I would get. THAT costs about $20 or so to get. I was required to register with the state job listing service, so that any job that came in that I was qualified for and that fell into the categories that I had "selected" would automatically be forwarded to me, and being on UC, I would HAVE to apply, or lose my benefits. In the months and months of being on UC, guess how many referrals I received? 1. Yes, one single referral to a job. And that was a couple weeks after this wonderfully informative (?) class I took. I think the unemployment agencies / services are pretty incompetent, at best. I know these people are pretty much overworked, but MY experience with this was BEFORE everyone lost their job, so I can just imaging how bad it is NOW!!

    Answer by 29again at 10:12 PM on Jul. 3, 2010