Letters to the Editor

Unemployment

Two articles in the Saturday BND deserve a response. One touts the 161,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate dropping to 4.9 percent while the other covers Trump voters who are skeptical of those numbers. What neither story mentions is another number: the 425,000 workers who dropped out of the work force and are no longer counted as unemployed. Those discouraged workers are the reason the unemployment rate dropped, not the 161,000 who found jobs. This is a prime example of why Trump and his supporters call the media dishonest.

The unemployment rate generally quoted is the U3 rate, the far less-often cited rate, U6, includes those discouraged workers. That rate is 9.5 percent. If you also include folks who are working part-time but want full-time, temporary workers, and workers who are underemployed, the numbers get far higher. There is an old saying about, lies, damned lies, and statistics. By quoting only the quite flawed U3 number and using it to try and make the population believe the economy is doing fine, the media brings up another old saying: don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Gary Duff, Swansea

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