Thursday, April 22, 2010

April unemployment numbers: not much improvement

On April 2, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its unemployment numbers for the month of March. The official unemployment rate remained flat at 9.7%. Unfortunately, the broader measurement of unemployment (U3 + discouraged or marginally attached workers, etc.) was slightly up at 16.9%, from 16.8% for February 2010.

Thanks, as always, to the Calculated Risk blog for the graphic.


  1. Can we get a curve strictly for chemistry? Would love to see that one, however, I think that dip in employment would start in 2000 and keep right on going.

    You can add in 2010 so far and then ask yourself when all those jobs will be made up again. Let's get a poll on that one again.

  2. 1. Dude, I am trying. That is a *great* idea and it's really tough to find something, anything with raw data on this.

    2. Where'd you find that graph? Which issue was it?

  3. Chemjobber,

    Here it is:

    I think you are doing a great job chemjobber. I am increasingly angry though that I didn't figure out all this stuff earlier. As a grad student I have only recently done my math.

    In order to attain a wage that would satisfy a future partner, children, pay off student loan debt and give uncle sam his cut, my productivity would have to be many times that of a foreigner. When a reaction takes 5 hours, there is not much I can do to increase my productivity. Unless I can magically make the reaction happen 3x faster.

    As far as "sticking" it out. Well I am competing for very little. 50-60 hour work weeks? The job stability of a band boy? The social isolation of a backroom lab? If I stay single or marry a foreign babe who is very tolerant of this lifestyle, MAYBE it will workout. But in the long run I have very little chance of making this thing work as an American with far different living standards than my H1-B counterparts.

    Keep getting the word out, you're saving people man.