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After $11 Trillion in Federal Spending, “Total Unemployment” Rises to 15.9%; Standard Jobless Rate Up to 9%

Saturday May 7th, 2011   •   Posted by David Theroux at 6:25pm PDT   •  

The Christian Science Monitor reports that “Counting underutilized and marginally attached workers, the unemployment rate rose in April, according to the new jobs report”, to 15.9% for “total unemployment” and 9% for the standard rate of joblessness.

And according to’s “Bailout Tracker”, this increase in joblessness has occurred despite the staggering commitment to date of $11 trillion in federal spending since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008: $700 billion from TARP, $6.4 trillion in Federal Reserve “rescue efforts”, $1.2 trillion in economic stimulus,$182 billion in bailouts for AIG, $45.4 billion in FDIC bank takeovers, $1.7 trillion in “other financial initiatives”, and $745 billion in “other housing initiatives”.

As the Monitor notes:

Today’s Employment Situation report showed that in April “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers increased to 15.9% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate increased to 9%.

The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers “marginally attached” workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employment to be “underutilized” labor.

The broadest view of unemployment would include both traditionally unemployed workers and all other underutilized workers.

For the full article, please click here.

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May 2011