Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New legislation on unemployment percentage

In an article titled "GOP lawmaker calls for change to how government measure unemployment", a very intriguing issue is brought up about the affects of a new piece of suggested legislation on how to calculate unemployment rates.

A Republican legislator is proposing adding a new group to be included in the percentage of people considered "unemployed".  Currently this group only contains those who are currently actively looking for a job, but do not have one.  If passed, the new legislation would add to this figure all the people in the United States who both do not have jobs and who are not actively looking work.  Adding this new demographic group would greatly increase the percentage of people that would be reported to be unemployed.

Republicans are a great proponent of this bill and Democrats are fiercely against this new legislation due to the fact that election season is closing in for the President's office.  If the new legislation is put into effect, it will not reflect will on the Democratic administration because unemployment will have jumped several percentage points from what it was at the beginning of Obama's term giving the GOP candidate more material to use in his campaign.

Because of the implications of this legislation, it has been stuck in gridlock between the two parties because of the impending election year.  However, not all Republicans are so convinced on this issue due to the fact that if a GOP candidate is sworn into office he will have to also deal with having to cope with a larger unemployment percentage.

1 comment:

  1. What's interesting about this is that even know it is clearly a politically motivated move to raise the nominal unemployment percentage officially reported, that doesn't mean that it's an incorrect way of thinking about unemployment.

    Currently, if you don't check the box "currently looking for a job" you don't count as unemployed, even if you got laid off, would like a job, but have stopped looking for whatever reason (welfare, depression, apathy, et cetera).

    Obviously we don't want retired people counting towards the unemployment figure, but I think in general we should be counting non-workers as unemployed regardless of if they're "actively searching."