Unemployment Numbers

Who isn't being counted..?


I don’t know about you but I listen to the local station, KUOW, a lot, which plays NPR, PRI, BBC and a variety of other news sources. I always wonder when I hear about the Unemployment Numbers going up and down and how so much is implied by the interpretation of those numbers.

For example, I was laid off March 1, 2009. I collected unemployment as long as I could, applying for jobs and working on various ventures, writing, raising my daughters and participating in community building at the same time. By the time it ended, I still didn’t have a job, I still wasn’t making any money to speak of, and I didn’t continue filing for unemployment either! Part of me was hugely relieved that I could STOP applying to all these jobs and focus instead on finding ways to make money for myself.

It’s been a long time since then though technically I still do not have a “job” and as you know if you follow me at all I’m due to have a baby in a few days so won’t be looking any time particularly soon either.

What I wonder is how many people like me just stop reporting they are unemployed because it literally no longer “pays” to do so? I’m guessing a lot by the number of people making money helping people like me find their ideal business and money making strategies. Where are we reflected in these numbers though? Sure I could just check the “Homemaker” box instead of the “Unemployed” or “Self Employed” boxes in whatever survey or application I’m filling out but what do those words mean? Can’t I be all at once?

I have applied to a few jobs recently knowing that I would have to wait to accept anything that came through, I also have ventures in the works that could potentially make me some money as well as skills that are absolutely worthy of making a few bucks. Things could change at any time.

But what box do I check? Am I really meant to continue the depressing process of reporting my status as unemployed so that the numbers in the news come out more realistically? I just don’t see where people like me are reflected in those numbers that I keep hearing on the news. It really sounds to me like the numbers are probably going down because like me people aren’t reporting it anymore since there isn’t any benefit to doing so.

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About Kristin

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