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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

The Jobless Effect: Is the Real Unemployment Rate 16.5%, 22%, or. . .?

The June poll turned up 27.8% of households with at least one member who's unemployed and looking for a job. That translates to an unemployment rate of over 22%, says Mayur, who has started questioning the accuracy of the BLS... John Williams, founder of Shadow Government Statistics, says when accounting for the long-term unemployed, the jobless rate runs up to as much as 22% currently. Williams's newsletter, which analyzes flaws in government economic data, points out that such a rate isn't that far from the 25% it hit during the Great Depression. Both Celente and Ginsburg believe lawmakers' not-dire-enough view of unemployment is one reason why they didn't extend federal unemployment benefits. Of course, party politics is another deterrent. Ginsburg says the Administration's decision to tackle the health care reform over unemployment reflects its lack of priority. By taking his eye off one of the most fundamental issues affecting the country, President Obama has seen his popularity sink. The most recent Public Policy Polling survey says 45% of voters approve of the job he's doing, while 52% disapprove -- the first time Obama's disapproval ratings have exceeded 50% in this survey. It's obvious that Americans view unemployment more urgently than either lawmakers or the president. And if pollsters like Mayur or economists like Ginsburg and Williams are right, it will take longer to fix this hole because it's already bigger than Washington thinks.

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