Saturday, June 6, 2020

Don't call it a Comeback

When the U.S. government’s official jobs report for May came out on Friday, it included a note at the bottom saying there had been a major “error” indicating that the unemployment rate likely should be higher than the widely reported 13.3 percent rate.

The special note said that if this “misclassification error” had not occurred, the “overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,” meaning the unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May.

Look, I like happy news and am by no means rooting for the economy to do poorly--that stands for real people's jobs and income! On the other hand, when the jobs numbers had tanked so severely, we have to be realistic and not applaud too soon. The economic devastation was caused by the pandemic event, and we're not totally out of it. Also, when jobs do come back, our persistent inequalities will still be here.

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