Myth Continues Concerning Hawaii’s Unemployment Rate

by Pearl Hahn 

The media and government remain intent on concealing Hawaii’s true unemployment rate. Do not make the mistake of taking data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at face value. While the Bureau claims that Hawaii’s unemployment rate remained steady at 7.2 percent in October, the truth is that it is actually 14.5 percent, more than double the reported rate (and exceeding the reported national unemployment rate).

How does this happen? You can ask the federal Department of Labor, which narrowly defines unemployment as not only being out of work, but having actively looked for a job in the previous four weeks. This excludes millions of Americans who work part time not by choice but because full-time positions are not available. Discouraged workers who have simply given up looking for employment are not even factored into the reports.

This includes people who have never worked a day in their lives, idle teenagers, and the homeless. Many are able-bodied and in need of a job, but are not even counted as part of the labor force.

Though the “true” unemployment rate is over 14 percent, the Labor Department is doing Hawaii citizens no favor in reporting the misleading 7.2 percent calculation in the media.

Pearl can be reached at pearl@grassrootinstitute.org

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