FEB Fri, Mar 10:+235,000 jobs. Unemployment down slightly to 4.7%...FEB details coming.. Jobs since Trump took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama? (not yet updated)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Arithmetic, Anonymous! And Pizzas--

How can we have MORE jobs when the unemployment rate went up? 

Perhaps a short lesson in fourth grade arithmetic will help some readers understand something that seems very perplexing to them:
"How can the umenployment (sic) rate be .1 % higher since taking office yet your claim is there is a net increase in jobs?" 
Let's translate, as this is what Dear Reader (Mr. Anonymous) is really thinking:

"The unemployment rate went UP one tenth of a percent last month and it is one tenth of a percent more than it was when Obama took office. But "they" say that there are MORE jobs and MORE workers! How can that be? (The latent question here is: Are those Obama supporters in the BLS cooking the books? I mean the right wing media keeps telling me that the economy really still sucks, and it sucks worse than it did when Obama was elected in 2008, and, well, we just can't have more jobs, especially if the unemployment rate went up, because my brother-in-law just got laid off last month.)"
Slice of pizza found HERE.

Here's the answer:  

The unemployment rate is a FRACTION

It's ARITHMETIC, "Anonymous", something which appears to elude you which is why you wind up voting Republican and believing all of the right-wing hooey about the U.S. becoming Greece.

Think of pizzas. A sausage pizza or a cheese pizza or any kind of pizza that your little heart desires. 

Let's say you have a thin crust pizza that is 12 inches in diameter and a thin crust pizza that is 16 inches in diameter.   If you can't visualize this in your head, you may have to actually go out and buy a couple of pies.

You cut each pizza into 12 equal pieces. Now, assuming you like pizza, which piece of pizza would you want.. One from a 12 inch pie or one from a 16 inch pie?  There's 12 pieces in each pie, what's the difference?

That's what happened: The pizza, representing the total number of available workers, both those working and those who are looking for work, is bigger than it was last month.  It's bigger now than it was in January 2009.  So the total number of jobs is higher even after you take out the piece (not quite a twelfth) that represents the unemployed.

Basic, simple arithmetic.  And pizzas.



  1. I want two pieces of pizza, one from the 12 inch and one from the 16 inch pizza, to test this theory of yours.

    1. Actually, since I wrote this, I've been craving pizza all evening. I think it's that picture of a slice of pizza that is making my mouth water. Maybe tomorrow.. Friday night is a good night for pizz


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