Tag Archive for 'unemployment rate'

SBA Poll: Why is unemployment so stubborn?

The Question:
Which of these most closely describes your current employment picture?

3% - We’re hiring and having no problem finding qualified candidates.

24% - We need to add employees, but cannot find qualified candidates.

30% - We’re using technology as much as possible to limit payroll.

43% - We’re not hiring because we’re not growing.

My Comments:
The current unemployment rate is the same as it was when President Obama took office in 2009, 7.8%. But that’s what’s called the U-3 rate, which does not include those who are underemployed, have given up looking for work or those who have converted permanently to welfare or disability. But, based on the U-6 rate, which includes the groups just mentioned, the real unemployment condition in the U.S. is much worse today at 14.4%, or over 20 million Americans.

One of the reasons for a stubborn, if not worsening unemployment condition can be found in the responses from small business owners to the question we asked on our website last week: “Which of these most closely describes your current employment picture?” Here’s what we learned:

Only 3% of our respondents said, “We’re hiring and having no problem finding qualified candidates.” Unfortunately, from here on it gets worse. Almost one-fourth of our folks reported “We need to add employees, but cannot find qualified candidates,” a few more, 30%, told us, “We’re using technology as much as possible to limit payroll,” and the rest, the big number, 43%, allowed “We’re not hiring because we’re not growing.”

Allow me to put these poll responses in an economic recovery perspective: The sector that produces over half of the U.S. gross domestic product and signs over 70 million paychecks every week (over half of all private employees), are reporting at a combined rate of 93% that, for one reason or another, they are not hiring new employees.

If you happen to be talking to the President, and if he happens to lament high unemployment and the lackluster economic recovery, show him this survey and suggest that he spend a little more time talking to folks on Main Street.

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This week on The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about this poll and some of the other reasons why unemployment is remaining so high. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll: The truth about unemployment

The Question:
Will you give the President credit for the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8%?

17% - Yes - It shows his policies are creating new jobs.

81% - No - it doesn’t include those who stopped looking for work.

2% - Undecided.

My Commentary:
Recently, the U3 unemployment rate was reported to have dropped to 7.8%. For the entire time President Obama has been in office, this indicator has been above 8%, which historically does not bode well for the incumbent facing reelection.

We wanted to know how small business owners felt about this new number, so last week we asked this question on our online poll: “Will you give the President credit for the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8%.” Here’s what you told us.

Seventeen percent said they would indeed give the president credit because “… his policies are creating new jobs.” Those who were undecided came in at 2%. But the big number - 81%, said they would not give the president credit because, “… it doesn’t include those who stopped looking for work.”

U3 is the classic unemployment metric most often referred to, but it is basically a household survey, not a comprehensive standard. In any other context, such a statistic would be considered no more than a rule of thumb. The more comprehensive metric is U6, which includes those who are unemployed and under-employed.

As I have been reporting for at least two years, U6 unemployment is closer to 15%. In human terms, more than 20 million Americans are either unemployed or not employed to their qualifications. Plus this number does not include those who have given up looking for work - or the record number who have recently switched from unemployment to disability.

Regardless of which metric is used, the U.S. has a serious and chronic unemployment problem not seen since the Great Depression. And it will take people who understand how the economy works to help job creators turn this around.

The thing that gives me hope for America’s future is that our poll indicates small business owners are not naïve or uniformed about the truth.

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Click here to listen to more of what I have to say about the politics of unemployment percentages on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!




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