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Unemployment figures: Half truths wrapped in bacon

Since the recession started, unemployment has been a closely watched figure, and every time it increases, the stock market seems to take a tumble.  As people lose their spending cushion and lock down their finances for future hardships, the recoil sent back into various industries forces further contraction.  Where spending makes up the entirety of our economic success, when we fail to spend, we also will fail to grow.

When companies start to follow the same path as individual consumers, unemployment figures begin to change.  This has generally increased over the last year, with a few brief spurts of life, but generally the numbers inspire uncertainty and fear into those with jobs and those looking for work who have been laid off.

Eight to 9 percent, or even 10 percent of our total population (350,000,000) is 35,000,000.  That isn’t necessarily a bad figure when you take into consideration all those who file for benefits with no intention of ever getting employment again and are content with living off of the government’s paycheck and free handouts for their miserable existences brought on by massive amounts of underachieving and lack of motivation.

The real problem is far greater than a small number like 8 to 9 percent.

Functional unemployment is more like 16 to 20 percent of the population.  This number, unlike the unemployment figure released, doesn’t focus on people who are filing for benefits.  Given that a functional unemployment assessment has no way to be 100 percent exact, the margin of error is much larger, but the number itself is a culmination of statistics and facts to find out how much of this population simply cannot pay the bills.

Functional unemployment essentially groups those filing for benefits as well as those who work part time, students, and those who have given up finding work until the economy rights itself on the troubled seas.

When you begin to think about 1 in 5 people being unemployed, the impact that has is tremendous compared to a small 1 in 12.

Up to 20 percent of the population can’t afford rent or utilities.  More people are living at home with their parents, unable to find work or even secure these “readily available” student loans that don’t exist, making ambitions of attending school further out of grasp for those who don’t come from a wealthy background.

The American workforce has seen monthly hour cuts for part-time employees in various companies, with some losing 25 to 50 percent of part-time clerical hours available in certain stores, bringing people from 30 hours a week to 15 or fewer, depending on staff.

Even though some of these companies have made profits throughout the recessed economy, the maneuvers to scale back on spending have caused many who have just gotten by desperate for another job or resorting to racking up massive amounts of debt in hopes to repay the sum off when work becomes available again.

Unemployment released by the government is nothing more than a positive light to shed on a very dark situation that far too many people overlook.  In a lot of ways, those who try to make ends meet by working two jobs are worse off than those living on welfare.

That is an entirely different problem.