This is real market research -- it won't make you rich, but it will make you some cash and won't cost you anything but a little time.
U.S. Jobs Picture Catastrophic
David Leonhardt noticed the right thing. Maybe there is hope that the mass-market media will wake up one day and realize that its not doing its job is kind of a bad thing for its own profits and society at-large. (Actually, Leonhardt is one of the best out there when it comes to economic commentary. That explains why he writes for The New York Times while people like me are exiled to the outer bands of a far-off galaxy in cyberspace.)
In their reportage of the November 2008 jobs report, most media have hammered home the "official" unemployment rate 6.7 percent -- which really doesn't sound too bad. CNN even went so far as to emphasize the "Jobless claims down!" angle, which almost sounds like good news. What they should be pointing out is what DL did: Not only were 251,000 jobs lost, 637,000 people got so discouraged that they stopped looking for work. Almost triple the number of people who lost their jobs actually stopped looking for jobs, politely removing themselves from being counted among the officially unemployed.
Even more than that, the number of people like Yours Truly who are working part-time but would like to work full-time rose by a staggering 621,000. This was all in one month!!!
Suddenly we can see why "Jobless claims down": You can't claim unemployment if you're working part-time or if you're not looking for work.
Leonhardt -- a real journalist, apparently, concerned with telling the truth, no matter how ugly -- points out that:
The share of all men ages 16 and over who are working is now at its lowest level since the government began keeping statistics in the 1940s.
Lowest level since the government began keeping statistics in the 1940s, you know, when the country was emerging from its last depression? Wow.
Yup, it's bad out there. Good luck to everybody. We can come through this for the better if we attack it together.