Unemployment Rate

What Recovery? Green Shoots turning into Brown Weeds

Some Green Shoots supporters have declared that the bottom is in. They point towards various short-term trends, and if you don't look too close, it appears to support their cause.
The Green Shoots supporters accuse the Brown Weeds advocates of using charts that are too long, and thus miss the recent movements.

Therefore I've decided to dig up my own charts, looking at just the last month.

Unemployment: A Realistic Forecast

If you are out of work like me, and hoping that the Depression will end soon so you can get a job, you better develop a Plan B.

A recent analysis by a trio of economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco predicted a jobless recovery on a nationwide basis, following a pattern that appeared after the recessions of the early 1990s and 2001.

Most economic predictions can be taken with a grain of salt. If you were as wrong on your job as often as economists are on their jobs, you would get fired very quickly.
On the other hand, it's common sense to look at recent historical trends and project patterns from them. Given that premise, let's look at what we can expect in terms of employment.

Unemployment and Recovery: a Grim Forecast

Regardless of whether the economy as a whole begins to improve, the malaise of working and middle class America will not be relieved until wages increase, and employment rates return to a robust level.
The news on that score is grim. Unemployment is a lagging indicator. Historically, it continued to rise right through to the end of recessions. The "jobless recoveries" from the 1990 and 2001 recessions were even worse: unemployment continued to rise for over a year after both recessions ended!
If that pattern is again true for any recovery from this recession, the forecast is grim indeed.

Proposed new Unemployment Rate number- U7

The BLS reports today that January lost 598,000 jobs in the United States, pushing U3 to 7.6%.  This isn't a very scary figure, which is why they report it in the news.  U6 is much scarier- 13.9%.  But I contend that neither of these tell the real story from a "the economy should provide first level Maslow needs to the people" point of view.

Instead, I propose that the real story is answered by the question, what is the ratio of dependents (non-labor people) to workers (people with jobs).  This includes, of course, sole-income investors (those who rely on dividends from investment as their sole source of income), stay-at-home parents, the disabled and sick, and children all as dependents.  It also includes all the unemployed as dependents, if you don't have income from a job then you're living off of the income of other people in one form or another for the most part.