Unemployment Rate Is Not So Bad

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By John Hubbuch

Almost every day the Republican Party and the news media remind us that millions of Americans are unemployed,  and that situation is worse than the bubonic plague. Now if you don't have a job that is a bad thing. I get that. But for most people it is a temporary thing, and while you are  unemployed you can get up to $300 a week for up to 99 weeks to ease the misery.                               

So while 8 percent of us don't have jobs, 92 percent of us do. Pretty good. It's like the people who have latex, bee sting and peanut allegeries. If you have one of them it is not a good thing, and can be a really bad thing. But for the majority, it's not a problem. Just look at all those people in all those restaurants , going on all those vacations and  buying all that junk. Life is pretty good for many.          

I'm surprised that the unemplyment rate is only 8%. It's much higher in Europe. It was 25 % in the 1930's. Globalization has sent millions of jobs overseas. In Springsteen"s " My Hometown": " Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back."  Computers have been gobbling up jobs for years. The ratio of secretaries to lawyers was once 1:1, now it's closer to 1:3. Just wait until the robots come on line. Then there's the reality that a large  aging work force  gets pushed out of their jobs as the more efficient, lower paid tech savy youth take over.                                                       

And let's be honest there are some people who are always going to have difficulty finding and keeping a job. In my law firm there were at least 8% really angry, or weird, or lazy or crippled by personal issues people  that made them not very good employees. The evening news focusses on the poor fella crying because he  can't support his family.  the networks don't show the employee who got drunk at lunch and punched the boss. Both are unemployed.               

Again I feel bad that some Americans are out of work, but the political parties and ratings-driven media have a clear and obvious interst in making the unemployment picture seem a lot worse than it actually is.

Reader Comments

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Too Polite. from OP  

Posted: March 9th, 2012 12:13 PM

There's a word for what you are, Mr. Hubbuch, that has been shown clearly in this piece, but I'm too polite to repeat it. For now I'll just list a few that I can mention: arrogant, clueless, ignorant, biased,....


Posted: March 9th, 2012 12:05 PM

That robot you speak of is already here... Its called an iPhone. Just ask Siri.


Posted: March 9th, 2012 11:24 AM

Actually, quite like and Onion article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-unemployment-high-because-people-keep-blowi,17803/


Posted: March 9th, 2012 11:18 AM

This reads like an Onion article. I think you are a little out of touch, Mr. H.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: March 9th, 2012 10:48 AM

I think those reported unemployment numbers are kind of mushy.

Real Numbers  

Posted: March 9th, 2012 6:47 AM

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are just ignorant of the facts. The real rate of unemployment (people who don't have a job) is 20 to 25%; add underemployed and it's closer to 50%.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: March 9th, 2012 12:27 AM


Disgusted from Oak Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2012 9:35 PM

Screw you, John. Its easy for you to comment when you HAVE a constant job, have had the means to go to law school, and can sit back comfortably and comment. News flash: unemployment is only reported at 9% because the government can only report who is receiving unemployment benefits. I've been a loyal reader for a long time, but this column is garbage, just like your biased and silver-spoon opinion. Not everyone who is unemployed has "something wrong with them." You, however, clearly might.

Nelson Taruc from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 11:06 PM

I agree with the old white guy. You young whippersnappers and non-whites, stop whining about record high unemployment. It's not THAT bad. Getting an early start on saving for retirement? Overrated. Besides, your problem is likely temporary, and by temporary, I mean not more than 1.9 years. Just call it a staycation (assuming you can still afford a home to stay in). And if you can't find a job by then, chances are you're just angry, weird and/or lazy. Let's smile Illinois ... we're fine at 9%!

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