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July 03, 2003

Bush is Killing the Economy

Unemployment soared officially to 6.4 percent in June with a revision said payrolls fell 70,000 in May instead of the originally reported 17,000 drop. And in June, another 30,000 jobs were eliminated from the marketplace.

And new hiring looks unlikely:

the length of the average workweek was unchanged at 33.7 hours in June. Factory hours were also steady at 40.2 hours, while overtime remained at 4 hours. Lack of growth in the workweek is a less-than-encouraging sign for the future. When companies are poised to begin hiring, they often increase the hours of the workers currently on their staff first.
And don't be fooled by the 6.4% number, since real unemployment, including "discouraged" long-time unemployed and those just working a few hours per week, has jumped over the last year.

See this chart by the Department of Labor on alternative measures of unemployment. Since last June, this measure (U-6 on the chart) has jumped from 9.8% of the workforce to 10.4%.

And that real unemployment number of 10.4% is even higher if you include the older unskilled workers who have been moved into disability and those in prison (which Robert Reich estimates would add another six-tenths of a percent to the unemployment rate).

Posted by Nathan at July 3, 2003 09:36 AM