BAMBOOZLED! - Things Are Great In West Virginia

(09/26/2007)

By Bob Weaver

The public must enjoy being bamboozled.

Workforce WV announced this week that only 36,600 West Virginians were unemployed during August, the lowest number on record.

Workforce says 4.7 percent of the state's workers are unemployed.

With the mighty workings of the government and American business, things are good in West Virginia.

The government's unemployment figure is used as the primary indicator about the state's economy.

The Hur Herald has long made fun of the statistic, a fuzzy number that indicates how many people are no longer collecting unemployment.

The statistic must be the darling of every politician who enjoys the benefit of fuzzy numbers.

The Charleston Gazette reports Workforce says WV has 780,000 jobs.

The US Census Bureau says WV has 1.2 million residents between 18 and 65.

The Gazette says simple subtraction means 420,000 have no jobs.

So the real unemployment rate is about 35 percent?

Tens of thousands of WV jobs, including the lowest paid ones, have gone to other countries, globalized through the "free trade" movement.

Some of the poorest counties in WV have virtually no unemployment, simply because there are no jobs from which to be unemployed.

Or, as the Herald reports, the statistic implies there are three chickens in every pot.


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