Jake Gordon

As I suspected - never trust unemployment figures

11 January 2004

Unemployment/job-seeker figures make me mad. They cover the fact that proper, full-time jobs are being lost from the economy. They’re usually based upon job-seekers, and not everyone bothers looking for a job if they know they can’t find one. As this article says, in the US in December the unemployment rate was at a 14-month low. But this wasn’t because of new jobs being created (I explain why new jobs are unlikely to be created in my dissertation) but because of people not bothering looking for jobs any more as its a waste of their time.

For my dissertation I’m still considering what statistics or sources to use to demonstrate my assertion that the near future will be plagued with mass unemployment on an unprecedented scale due to new efficiencies created by technology, such as the Internet and robotics. My current plan is to take an extensive look at as many different jobs as possible in the economy and explain why they will cease to exist in the near future, and then relate this in percentage terms to the employment market as a whole to calculate the estimated unemployment rate in years to come.

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