Tag Archives: unemployment

Unemployment figures explained

Bud Abbot and Lou Costello were one of the most popular comedy teams of the 1940’s and 1950’s.
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good subject. Terrible times. It’s about 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed.  You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: But … they are out of work!

ABBOTT:   No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.

COSTELLO: To who?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a president.

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A Better Bailout Plan

Stimulate This!

Here is an article said to be from the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday (I presume March 29). The Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?” This response seems to hit the bull’s eye.


Dear Mr. President,

Patriotic retirement: There’s about 40 million people over 50 in the work force; pay them $1 million apiece severance with stipulations:

1) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.

2) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.

3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

what a great idea and I would add to this…..if you do this you can have my social security backanother problem solved.  [Item from the Rumor Mill News]

Of course, from the standpoint of the oligarchs, that plan benefits the “wrong” people and solves the “wrong” problems. – t.h.g.