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.

3 comments:

  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.

    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/_img/87/i11/8711bus1_300.gif

    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.

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  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?

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  3. Chemjobber,

    Here it is:
    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/business/87/8711bus1.html

    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.

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