Unemployment Explained

So how can over 873,000 people come off the unemployment line when there were only a little over 114,000 jobs created?

Luckily I found a transcript of a conversation between two eminent economists discussing this very question!


Here we go, the recent unemployment report explained —

BIDEN: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

OBAMA: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 7.8%.

BIDEN: That many people are out of work?

OBAMA: No, that’s 14.7%.

BIDEN: You just said 7.8%.

OBAMA: 7.8% Unemployed.

BIDEN: Right 7.8% out of work.

OBAMA: No, that’s 14.7%.

BIDEN: Okay, so it’s 14.7% unemployed.

OBAMA: No, that’s 7.8%.

BIDEN: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 7.8% or 14.7%?

OBAMA: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

BIDEN: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

OBAMA: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


OBAMA: No, you miss the point.

BIDEN: What point?

OBAMA: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.

BIDEN: To whom?

OBAMA: The unemployed.

BIDEN: But ALL of them are out of work.

OBAMA: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

BIDEN: So if you’re off the unemployment rolls that would count as less unemployment?

OBAMA: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

BIDEN: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

OBAMA: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how the current administration gets it to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%. Our govt. doesn’t want you to read about 14.7% unemployment.

BIDEN: That would be tough on those running for reelection.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

BIDEN: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

OBAMA: Two ways is correct.

BIDEN: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

OBAMA: Correct.

BIDEN: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

OBAMA: Bingo.

BIDEN: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have administration supporters stop looking for work.

OBAMA: Now you’re thinking like the Economy Czar.

BIDEN: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

OBAMA: Now you’re thinking like me.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I wish I had written this. Instead I received it via email from a friend. Original author unknown.

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