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Thread: unemployment numbers then and now

  1. #1
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    From
    Jax beach FL
    1930s unemployment levels:

    Counted by enumerators.

    All males over 16 were defined as part of the laborforce.

    Peaked at 24.9% annual rate in 1933



    Tended to overcount the unemployed by some unknown percentage with actual unemployment levels probably only 90% of published data.



    Unemployment levels now.

    Employment determined by a survey of employers

    Unemployment determined by a landline phone survey.

    Therefore wireless only household unempoloyment is not counted but wireless employment is counted.

    The Labor force is defined as actively seeking work even if there are no jobs to seek.



    I contend that if comparable data existed for both eras then current unemployment would exceed that of the 1930s. Kumite

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    Senior Member Goldwater's Avatar
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    [quote name='william the wierd' date='07 December 2009 - 06:55 PM' timestamp='1260240943' post='75124']

    1930s unemployment levels:

    Counted by enumerators.

    All males over 16 were defined as part of the laborforce.

    Peaked at 24.9% annual rate in 1933



    Tended to overcount the unemployed by some unknown percentage with actual unemployment levels probably only 90% of published data.



    Unemployment levels now.

    Employment determined by a survey of employers

    Unemployment determined by a landline phone survey.

    Therefore wireless only household unempoloyment is not counted but wireless employment is counted.

    The Labor force is defined as actively seeking work even if there are no jobs to seek.



    I contend that if comparable data existed for both eras then current unemployment would exceed that of the 1930s. Kumite

    [/quote]

    What would you have done if you were Roosevelt? and what would you do if you were Obama?

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    Roosevelt at least lacked the data to figure out what had happened. National Housing and Real Estate indices only became possible in the 1990s when sufficient automation of public records led to the Case-Schiller housing index. Case and Schiller are still extending their index backwards in time but there is now enough data to state that the 1923-26 housing bubble not the stock market crash caused the 1930s Great Depression. Only fairly recent Economic histories such as "This Time is Different" by Reinhardt and Rogoff have been published since that data became available. The results of that bursting bubble led to the banking panic of 1931 that Roosevelt and many others misattributed to the stock market crash. So Roosevelt was flying blind without the data and information needed to make intelligent decisions, I'll give him a pass.



    Bernancke and Geithner with Obama's blessings are operating on the Monetarist theory that states the depression was caused by wrong policy by the Fed in the banking panic. This was disproven by the Japanese lost decades where the same solutions were applied. So, the administration is following a policy guaranteed to fail. A Volcker style policy of squeezing the inflation and asset bubbles out of the economy is the only policy with a proven track record of working on this kind of mess. Volcker is available but his advice is being ignored because his remedy helped make Carter a one term president. Obama gets a fail on this one.

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