Was going to post a longer thing about the nature of cameras and privacy and all the Rices from Rutgers that get rung up by audio-visual equipment, but that’ll keep for now, especially since everyone under the sun has something to say about it. Not least of which is The Onion, whose point that only people who get caught on camera doing things wrong get punished sort of misses the point underscored here, which is that everyone is on camera all the time now and that may not be as bad as everyone wants to think. But more on that later, when I’m not quite as sick or I haven’t made it to 1:30 PM and failed to eat today, especially when sick. Go me.
I took most of the summer off from reporting on unemployment, in part because I just wasn’t in much of a blogging groove in general for most of the last year. So here we are again, revisiting the figures I last posted in April.
At that point in the year, the reporting gap, or the gap between real unemployment and that figure the B(L)S puts out monthly, stood at a record-high 5.87%. Now that figure has hit a record high in both June and August, modestly up to 5.89%.
Here are your graphs:
You know the drill with this by now. Nothing is changing much in terms of unemployment. The public narrative about stagnation of unemployment and the “recovery” is actually right for once. But it’s right at 12%, not 6%. Unemployment currently stands at 11.99%, up from 11.94% in July. That July number is the best it’s been since August 2009, when unemployment was still skyrocketing, which was 11.76%.
But 12% unemployment remains 2% higher than the supposed peak of unemployment in the Great Recession, which was in October 2009 (reported at 10.0%). Unemployment actually peaked 2 months later, at 13.13%. It’s periodically touched 13% a few times since then, most recently last October.
The Reporting Gap (second chart) remains a perfect index of the crazy factor in our current perception of the economy as it affects real people on the ground. And that remains at its peak. And the way we would be publicly treating the economy, jobs, and public policy if it were publicly disseminated that unemployment has been hovering between 12-13% for FIVE YEARS is so radically different than the status quo as to make them different worlds altogether.
You’re not crazy. The jobs are not coming back. Someday, we will change the model of our economy. But for now, it remains ostrich time.