The author is right — the unemployment rate is hard to understand, but the video provided here is a good tutorial. I spent some time trying to better understand this subject myself and wrote up the results on my blog, in the post “Working Till 2025: Life is Tough These Days.” I came up with an imperfect way of measuring what I call “at risk workers.” Reading this inspires me to update the table and associated graph in my post to see how things have changed.
There are actually six different “unemployment rates,” although predominantly when people use that term in cocktail party banter, they mean “the number of people looking for work who can’t actively find it.” But by no means is that the entire picture (I wrote about this a little bit when I was just starting this blog). First, you need to consider this — U.S. labor force as a percentage of population peaked in 1999 at 67.1 percent. Phrased another way, it’s like this: since these stats started being recorded, the highest percentage of the population actively in the labor force was never above 7 in 10.
Now consider this: after the 2008 downturn, essentially six million (6,000,000) workers straight up left the job rolls, and the largest sub-section of those six million was men aged 25-54 — i.e. men in their peak-earning years:
You can read this a couple…
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