The dog wags back!

A sometimes funny, somtimes angry, but mostly progressive, blog on the politics and issues of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and America.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Worse all around

There are more unemployed people, but that can be a misleading measure. Maybe I am trying to lie with statistics. There could be more unemployed people, but if they are unemployed for only a few weeks, then this is another mountain out of a mole hole thing. Sorry, that is not the case. Not only are there more people unemployed - they are unemployed for longer periods of time. The average length of unemployment has increased by nearly 7 weeks since January 2001. Of course the policy response to that has been to reduce the length of unemployment coverage. You tell me, does that make sense? Keep in mind, these are national statistics - so you can't explain it by a few individuals who are too lazy to keep looking. An increase this large, on a population this size, is what we call statistically significant. The chart below, reproduced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows the average number of weeks of unemployment.

Remember the old slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" Well, after consistent reductions in the length of unemployment, we're returning to the level of misery that we thought was behind us.