One of the real dangers of the Dems sitting on 9.5% unemployment and acting like it's the new normal is that nobody believes the unemployment rate is just 9.5%. The reality of the workforce is that with the millions of underemployed who are being forced to cut hours, work contract jobs or work just part time, and the long-term unemployed who have "left the workforce" and have "stopped looking for work" the reality is much, much worse than 9.5%. It's really more than twice that.
Raghavan Mayur, president at TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, follows unemployment data closely. So, when his survey for May revealed that 28% of the 1,000-odd households surveyed reported that at least one member was looking for a full-time job, he was flummoxed.
"Our numbers are always very accurate, so I was surprised at the discrepancy with the government's numbers," says Mayur, whose firm owns the TIPP polling unit, a polling partner for Investors' Business Daily and Christian Science Monitor. After all, the headline number shows the U.S. unemployment rate today is 9.5%, with a total of 14.6 million jobless people.
However, Mayur's polls continued to find much worse figures. The June poll turned up 27.8% of households with at least one member who's unemployed and looking for a job, while the latest poll conducted in the second week of July showed 28.6% in that situation. That translates to an unemployment rate of over 22%, says Mayur, who has started questioning the accuracy of the Labor Department's jobless numbers.