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National and Global, United States

Monday, October 5, 2009

REAL Unemployment rate: How about 20%

That's 20 million people 'outta work'. So, the logical question is, 'who is acutally working'? Do I need to be in the military, a 'beltway bandit', or in someway related to healthcare or solar; a collection agency? The stimulus package? What happened to that? The only stimuli I see is going to Wall Street, Car manufacturers, and in some strange way...road construction. The rest of us are up to our ears in boondoogle politics.

Friday's unemployment report produced growing economic concerns over the likelihood of an economic recovery that fails to produce job growth. Despite billions of dollars in stimulus spending that continues to flow out of Washington, the Department of Labor report pointed to job loss numbers that have failed to improve amid the spending.

The Department of Labor reported a rise in the adjusted non-farm unemployment rate to a new high of 9.8% after the economy shed another 263,000. However, beyond the adjusted payroll number lies a host of employment numbers including the disturbing reality that 1 in every 6 Americans is now unable to find full-time employment.

One in six out of work. That's probably not going to get any better anytime soon.

Economists also warn that if consumer spending does not recover prior the holiday season, then we are once again likely to see a drastic increase in January and February unemployment data and an adjusted unemployment rate approaching 11.0% by Spring. Subsequently, the real unemployment rate is likely to approach 18%-19% during the same period.

Frankly, I think it's already at 20%. And that's a problem for me and you. As a management consultant, potential clients are more difficult to find, and when you do find them, they offer a retainer that is less than adequate for the time.

One bright spot: Greeters at WalMart. Those jobs saw a 15% increase. Now, we know it is WalMart and it is part-time, and you wave your hand a lot. But hey, if you are a structural engineer looking to connect and add to your network, it might be a way to go. Just bring a sign and your resume. Hi, welcome to WalMart. BTW, here's my resume. Of course, one in six people you hand your resume to, will be handing you... theirs!


  1. I am surprised more people aren't doing the "Hi, Welcome to WalMart. Here is my resume" deal. As a small business owner, I find this information quite ironic, as it is extremely difficult for us to find/retain employees who want to work!!!

  2. Well, I guess it depends what 'small business' you are into, on one hand. On the other, it may be more systemic in nature.
    I know about six people you could talk to...perhaps more. Then again, you just might need a management consultant to help you access the issues. :)

  3. How I see it, part of the problem is the fear that working "below your level" will spoil your chances of moving back in your old profession once things pick up.

    Will employers applaud a structual engineer for taking the WalMart job? Or will they prefer someone who used the time to keep up and learn new skills useful for his profession?



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