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:

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

Source: Andrew Samwick


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 . . .



What the Unemployment Rate Misses
Andrew A. Samwick
Vox, Baby  March 05, 2008

Table A-12: Alternative measures of labor underutilization

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
   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

Who Has Been Wrong On Housing, Credit, Economy, Dollar?

Category: Commodities, Data Analysis, Economy, Financial Press, Markets

Federal Reserve: Household Equity at all time lows

Category: Credit, Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate

Who Are the Socialists: FOMC vs ECB ?

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

Faber Says Bernanke Policy Will `Destroy’ U.S. Dollar

Category: Currency, Federal Reserve, Inflation

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
, 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.


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



The Complete Guide to Converting DVDs to iPod Format
Jerrod Hofferth
iLounge, November 21, 2005

Rip DVDs To Your Mac To View On AppleTV And iPod.
Alexis Kayhill
Mac360, Friday, April 13, 2007

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

Ambac, Part III

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Finance

The Misleading Jobless Rate

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Psychology