This unemployment number seems much too high to me

The New York Post reports:

The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent -- a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. -- meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.

And worse, without a clear economic recovery plan aimed at creating entry-level jobs, the odds of many of these young adults -- aged 16 to 24, excluding students -- getting a job and moving out of their parents' houses are long. Young workers have been among the hardest hit during the current recession -- in which a total of 9.5 million jobs have been lost. . . .

The teenage unemployment rate at the BLS is much lower. For White teenagers it is 24.1 percent and for blacks it is 34.7, for an overall teenage rate of 25.5 percent.

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Blogger Brian K Miller said...

This might interest you:


Karl Denninger is a market commentator who has appeared on several television networks. He started his blog about two and a half years ago when he realized economic collapse had become inevitable. The only question to his mind was, and remains, if the system will be allowed to collapse naturally and recover on its own, or whether it will stretched to the point where recovery will be virtually impossible for several generations.

9/27/2009 2:41 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

Sometimes I think this economic mess has been a scam. When I go to costco or the mall, people are spending as usual and the crowds are there. Same whne I went to Florida over the summer and went to disney world and seaworld. You'd think they were giving something away. Whatever is pushing this recession, it doesn't seem to be affecting as many people as politicians would have you believe. If that is the case, what was the rush with TARP and ARRA? John, were we sold a bill a goods in order to _______?

9/27/2009 2:50 PM  
Blogger Claude said...

I find it interesting that the BLS numbers only list numbers for white, black and asian. Where are the numbers for hispanics? It's as though we do not work.

On a serious note, why do we continue to segment all of these numbers by race? It doesn't make sense unless the goal of such reports is to perpetuate stereotypes and perceived unfairness or discrimination in the job market.

9/27/2009 3:18 PM  
Blogger Eric Rowe said...

So not only are taxpayers being forced to fund two or more different federal agencies to track the same statistics independently of one another. But the results of one or both of them are so unreliable that they differ from each other in how many young people are unemployed by a margin roughly equal to 100% of the smaller of the two.

9/27/2009 7:12 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear The Right Guy:

I do think that there has been a great deal of exaggeration. Here is an example of one of the pieces where I have made this argument:


Obama wants to claim that things were much worse than they were so that he can take credit as they get better.


9/27/2009 7:47 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

Thanks for responding and the links. Agreed about Obama. My next question is, was the banking problem that pre-existed the Obama administration as bad as Bush et al painted it and was TARP necessary? Would a laissez faire approach been a better choice? Thanks again.

9/27/2009 11:15 PM  

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