Unemployment stats don’t tell the whole story

Not only was the methodology by which the rate of unemployment changed during the Clinton administration, there is no way to account for people who’ve gone back to work at a much lower salary than they earned before the downturn:

With unemployment as high as 9.4% and job prospects scarce, job seekers are willing to accept as little as half of what they were making before, if it means finding a job.

In a recent survey, 65% of out-of-work respondents reported willingness to accept wages up to 30% lower than their previous compensation. And, 3% and 4%, respectively, said they would accept up to 40% and 50% of prior wages, according to the 2009 Annual Career Fair Survey released by Next Steps Career Solutions.

9.4% is deceptively low. As the chief of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta admitted, when discouraged workers — people who’ve given up looking — are included, the real unemployment rate is about 16%.

When it’s calculated using pre-Clinton methodology, it’s closer to 21%. And that still doesn’t include the people working on the cheap.

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