10% not the whole picture of unemployment

From the Register-Mail:

July’s unemployment rate of 10 percent in Galesburg was the first time the city’s jobless rate hit double digits since the 1980s. Knox College economics professor Richard A. Stout said he believes the worst of the economic crisis has been averted but warns not to expect a quick turnaround in the local job market.

Stout said joblessness is affecting more people than the 10 percent figure released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Contrary to popular belief, people who exhaust their unemployment benefits do not automatically drop from the figures released by the state. But, it is true when someone becomes discouraged and no longer actively seeks employment, that person is no longer included in the unemployment rate.

Stout said the number of underemployed people also perhaps should be taken into consideration.

The professor said when he came to this area in the 1980s, after working as a young economist at the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, D.C., “the unemployment rate was over 14 percent” in Galesburg.

He said that, nationally, if unemployment is now 10 percent, the number of discouraged workers might translate to a rate of 14 percent.