Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Than 6.2 Million Have Been Out of Work for More Than 6 Months - But They are Well-Rested

Recent statistics discussed by HuffPost indicate that more than 6.2 million Americans have been out of work for more than 6 months, and are sleeping a lot more than employed folks.
I am not sure the 6.2 million is accurate - I think it is way too low.  Many unemployed eventually fall off of the statistical paradigm (i.e. they are no longer qualified for unemployment, or they take part-time jobs and are deemed, for statistical purposes, "employed"). 

The internal data of the study also suggests the number is low.  For example, a study conducted over a roughly 6 month period showed that only approximately 20% of recently unemployed persons received job offers, and many of those offers were for part-time work.  That means that only 1 out of 5 unemployed workers receive even a part-time job offer within 6 months of unemployment.  Statistics indicate that there are 14 million people who are unemployed right now, and that number is undoubtedly low.

Apparently, the President is considering a jobs initiative program, which it is expected will be announced sometime in September. 

We believe an affirmative action program requiring employers to hire a certain percentage of unemployed persons is a viable and effective partial remedy to the joblessness crisis.  Please pass that along to the President's economic team.

Regardless of what forms the job initiative takes, we apparently will have to rouse the unemployed from their slumbers to get them on board.  According to Alan Krueger, a Princeton professor who serves on President Obama's Economic Council, long-term unemployment leads one to sleep a lot more.

Not surprising. Let's see: No Job + No Money (and maybe no Cable TV) = boredom and frustration = Sleep More.  Got it.  The problem is, this type of a "study" is grist for the conservative view of some that unemployed people are lazy and shiftless.  I don't think that is what Professor Krueger is saying but, really, what is the point of such a conclusion being made by someone on the economic team of POTUS?

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