ERIC Number: ED199432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Unemployment Numbers Is the Message. Occasional Paper No. 38.
Levitan, Sar A.
United States economic courses of action--and inaction--are increasingly being based on the employment and unemployment figures put out monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Yet, the basic statistical concepts that are still used were fashioned during the Great Depression and do not take into account the very different conditions we have today. The BLS divides people into one of three groups: unemployed workers, unemployed persons, or "not in the labor force." These labor force definitions have lost a good part of their significance because of dramatic changes of social mores, such as the two-income family and income transfer payments (e.g., Social Security). On the other hand, many people are working full time, year-round, and are still living in poverty. Different types of measurement are needed in order to reflect the real problems that exist in this society. One way to do this is to add another dimension to the three that have been measured: the number of persons who are unable to attain an adequate standard of living through work. Another problem is whether to count students who want part-time work as unemployed. Because of these problems, Congress has created a National Commission on Employment and Unemployment Statistics to examine the procedures, concepts, and methodology involved in measuring labor market activities, and their adequacy for policy determination. The Commission needs input from those concerned with employment and unemployment (such as vocational educators) to determine a better way of reporting these statistics. (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Employment Patterns, Employment Statistics, Labor Force Nonparticipants, Labor Market, Student Employment, Unemployment, Validity, Youth Employment
National Center Publications, The National Center for Research in Vocational Education, 1960 Kenny Rd., Columbus, OH 43210 ($1.90).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. National Center for Research in Vocational Education.
Identifiers: National Commission Employment Unemployment Stats; United States
Note: Paper presented at the National Center for Research in Vocational Education Staff Development Seminar (Columbus, OH, 1977).