More on Unemployment Rates

Over the past few days, we’ve been discussing job creation and the various ways to think about unemployment. This has been a long standing theme around here (Augmented unemployment rate, as well as the NILF issueNot In Labor Force).

See the list at bottom of BLS Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization.

Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, I’d like to point to some recent work by Prof Andrew A. Samwick of Dartmouth. Over at Vox, Baby, the good professor posted a terrific chart showing these different measures of unemployment:

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U3 Unemployment Trends (%), plus U4, U5 , U6
Unemployment_trends_2

Source: Andrew Samwick

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I see two significant factors about these collectively measures of Unemployment:

First, the official (U3) measure, so favored by politicians, understates "real world" unemployment by about a third.

Second, and perhaps most important, since late 2006/early 2007, unemployment levels have bottomed and are now trending higher. And, we appear to be in the early parts of that cycle . . .

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Sources:
What the Unemployment Rate Misses
Andrew A. Samwick
Vox, Baby  March 05, 2008
http://voxbaby.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-unemployment-rate-misses.html

Table A-12: Alternative measures of labor underutilization
BLS
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

BLS Alternative Measures of
Labor Underutilization

U1     Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force
U2     Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force
U3     Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (the official unemployment rate)
U4     Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers
U5
   Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other
marginally attached workers as a percent of the civilian labor force
plus all marginally attached workers
U6     Total unemployed, plus
all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for
economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all
marginally attached workers (the "real world" unemployment rate)

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

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Federal Reserve: Household Equity at all time lows

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Category: Federal Reserve, Fixed Income/Interest Rates

Pending Home Sales Down 19.6%

Category: Credit, Economy, Real Estate

ADP Report, NFP Numbers for February 2008

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

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Why Can’t I Rip DVDs to My iPod?

Simpsons_movLegally, that is.

This is my annoyance of the moment: Why are DVDs a DRM-locked proprietary platform? When I purchase one, why can’t I use this on a convenient, portable device such as my iPod?

What a pain in the arse it is to rip a DVD: Frist, you need to use several products (MP4
Converter
, Handbrake, Ripper); 2nd, it takes forever. 3rd, and its illegal to do so.

What brought this about recently was The Simpson’s Movie — actually, more  of an extended 90 minute episode. I saw it with my nephews (with me snoozing thru parts of it).

However, going through the extras, I started listening to producer/writer commentary. Unbelievably entertaining stuff, like a terrific radio show with several very funny people cracking each other up. I would have liked to put on the iPod for the train, but no such luck.

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I can rip the basic movie, but not the special audio commentary. Anyone have a clue how to do that?

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Sources:

The Complete Guide to Converting DVDs to iPod Format
Jerrod Hofferth
iLounge, November 21, 2005
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/the-complete-guide-to-converting-dvds-to-ipod-format-mac/

Rip DVDs To Your Mac To View On AppleTV And iPod.
Alexis Kayhill
Mac360, Friday, April 13, 2007
http://mac360.com/index.php/mac360/comments/rip_dvds_to_your_mac_to_view_on_appletv_and_ipod/

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technology, Television, Video

Ambac, Part III

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Finance

The Misleading Jobless Rate

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Psychology