Unemployment: Local Shock And Awe

It seems that people within our government, both local and national, have forgotten the very basics about mathematics. You see, no matter what they want to tell you unemployment numbers cannot drop if the workforce is declining and jobs are not actually picking up.

Carroll County unemployment numbers for October are significantly down from last year, a sign local officials say is indicative that the local economy is on the uptick.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the jobless rate for last month was an even 10 percent, which is down nearly a point from the 10.9 percent rate of October 2009. While the total labor force has shrunk in the last year, going from 52,040 last year to 51,307 as of last month, and the total number of employed residents has also declined, the latter figures haven’t declined as sharply, dropping only from 46,346 to 46,179.

Officials claim the unemployment rate has dropped from 10.9% to 10% over the course of the past year. Meanwhile the size of the workforce has dropped from 52,040 to 51,307 was well. The reduction in the workforce just happens to be 0.986%. Do you notice anything about these figures? Unemployment has “dropped” 0.9% while the size of the workforce has also dropped 0.9%.

They don’t account for all the people who have utilized the full extent of their unemployment benefits and have dropped off the official unemployment rolls, nor have they accounted for the fact that the only reason the numbers seem to have dropped is because employers are not hiring as many people.

These local officials who are in awe that the unemployment numbers are “dropping” are going to be the ones who are shocked on the day the news breaks that unemployment has “unexpectedly” risen again.

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