|Hard to respect someone who refuses to see past his own bias Steve. Things are great in your part of the country ? Your UE Rate is over 20% !|
The Real Unemployment Rate in Washington State
Gap between Rising Work Force but Declining Jobs Spells Financial Disaster
When the Great Recession started in Washington State we had nearly three million jobs for 3.44 million workers.
Thus, in January 2008, the true number of unemployed workers was about 470,000.
However, today the number of employed workers has fallen by more than 200,000 to less than 2.8 million. Meanwhile the workforce has grown by more than 100,000 to 5.54 million.
BLS Table 3: Seasonally adjusted bls.gov
There are now over 700,000 unemployed workers in our State
As a consequence, the number of unemployed workers in our State has risen from 470,000 in January 2008 to 750,000 today. This is more than triple the official number of unemployed workers listed by the Washington State Department of Employment Security. However, as this data comes directly from surveys of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are certainly real people – likely “couch surfing” at the homes of friends – much like young unemployed workers rode the rails in the last Great Depression.
BLS Table 3: Subtracting # of employed workers from the total workforce
The True Unemployment Rate is now over 21%
The true unemployment rate, taken by dividing the number of unemployed workers in the work force by the total number of workers in the work force was 14% at the beginning of the Great Recession in January 2008 and has risen to more than 21% today.
Thus, more than one in five Washington workers is without a job and most have been without a job for more than a year.
BLS Table 3: Dividing # of unemployed workers from the total workforce.
The Cost in Unemployment Benefits is now $4.7 billion annually
According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, the amount spent on unemployment benefits has rose to a record $4.7 billion in 2010 – paid out to more than 500,000 workers in our State last year.
The average time for being unemployed was 41 weeks last year (versus only 28 weeks in 2009).
As of February, 2011, more than 40,000 people in Washington State have exhausted all of their unemployment claims. About 1,000 more workers are exhausting their state and federal unemployment benefits each week. It would be more productive to pay workers to work than to pay workers to not work. Families need pay checks, not just unemployment checks.
Even the statistical rise in jobs in January was actually a decline in jobs
The so called rise of 10,600 jobs in January 2011 was only a statistical manipulation due to seasonal adjustment. There was actually a loss of 47,100 jobs after Christmas. But since they were expecting a loss of 57,700 jobs after Christmas, the papers reported an increase of 10,600 jobs.
"In a very real sense, we lost jobs. But we lost fewer jobs than we normally would at this time of year." – Dave Wallace, Chief Economist for Employment Security, February 2011
But the real reason only 40,000 lost their jobs after Christmas was because fewer people had jobs before Christmas. There were only 12,000 private sector created in Washington State in all of 2010. According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, since there are nearly 800,000 unemployed workers in Washington State, there were 66 unemployed workers for every new job created.
Washington State School Funding – Near the Lowest in the Nation
Even before the current budget cuts, State funding for public schools had plunged to near the lowest in the nation.
Since 2008, over one billion additional dollars has been cut from school funding – firing thousands of teachers. As a consequence of these billions in cuts, our State is now 47th in the nation in school funding as a percent of income and our children are subjected to the highest class sizes of all 50 States!
In the past 2 years, thousands of teachers, health care workers and other essential State employees have already lost their jobs due to the billions in State budget cuts which have already taken place. Thousands more would have been fired had it not been for billions of federal stimulus dollars – all of which are schedule to expire in the next 3 months. It will take $3 billion additional dollars per year to restore school funding in our State to the national average.
US Census Bureau, Public Education Finances, Annual Reports, Table 12