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9/02/2005

Missing! Five million workers are missing, and almost nobody has noticed

Source: People's World Weekly

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that July’s unemployment rate was only 5 percent, President Bush interrupted his five-week vacation to take credit for a strong economy. But a report released earlier this summer strikes a jarring note.

Katherine Bradbury, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, took a closer look at the numbers. Her conclusion: there may be as many as 5.1 million additional workers who are unemployed but are not counted. When they are added to the 7.5 million officially unemployed, the unemployment rate rises to 8 percent. (Part-timers are not discussed in her analysis, but if we add those who want full-time work, unemployment reaches 11 percent.)

The BLS has always understated the real unemployment rate. But Bradbury’s research indicates that there are far more missing workers today than after recessions in the past. (MORE >>>)

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