Letters to the Editor

How do job numbers add up?

I’m skeptical of the monthly unemployment statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The February release indicated that the nation’s unemployment rate dropped another 2/10th of a percent to 5.5 percent.

That’s 5.5 percent of exactly what?

It’s not a question of whether the glass is half empty or half full. It’s a question of the size of the glass.

The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., based non-profit liberal think tank, identifies the concept “missing workers.” Missing workers are jobless workers who are not actively seeking work. They’re currently not reflected in the unemployment rate.

The EPI estimates that there are currently 5.97 million missing workers in the United States. If missing workers were included in the unemployment rate, it would be an unimpressive 9 percent.

I’m wondering exactly where I fit into this statistical analysis. I’m a 60-something military retiree. I teach an occasional class at a local university and sometimes launch a job application package when I see something that interests me. Am I employed, unemployed or missing?

I’m far too old to be experiencing an identity crisis.

Bill Malec

O’Fallon

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