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Monday, September 07, 2009

Profiles in Discouragement: Unemployed and Uncounted

by Calculated Risk on 9/07/2009 09:50:00 AM

From Michael Luo at the NY Times: Out of Work, Too Down to Search On, and Uncounted (ht Kai, Ann)

They were left out of the latest unemployment rate, as they are every month: millions of hidden casualties of the Great Recession who are not counted in the rate because they have stopped looking for work.

But that does not mean these discouraged Americans do not want to be employed. As interviews with several of them demonstrate, many desperately long for a job, but their inability to find one has made them perhaps the ultimate embodiment of pessimism as this recession wears on.
...
The official jobless rate, which garners the bulk of attention from politicians and the public, was reported on Friday to have risen to 9.7 percent in August. But to be included in that measure, which is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from a monthly nationwide survey, a worker must have actively looked for a job at some point in the preceding four weeks.

For an increasing number of people in this country who would prefer to be working, that is not the case.
Luo provides short stories about four people who have given up looking.