In the 30's, did they count people not actively searching for jobs as unemployed?

It seems the unemployment rate is closer to 17% than the 10% that's constantly reported, because several Americans have given up hope in finding a job, so they're not counted towards the unemployment rate. So are we actually closer to the 25% during the Great Depression? Why is there always "fuzzy math" that has to be deciphered when reading these reports? Unemployed = no job, isn't that simple?

Asked By: Johnny on the Spot - 1/12/2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Prior to the Social Security Act of 1935 which was basically a two part program (a retirement program, and a separate Federal/State Unemployment program) the unemployment numbers were tabulated from data gathered from businesses by State and Federal agencies. The number were low because of they did not include the... More
Answered By: Bobby - 1/12/2010
Additional Answers (11)
I'm pretty sure that the government measures by the same standards now as they did then. Saying that unemployment is only at 10% makes people feel a bit safer than us being near a Depression.
Answered By: One Cool Marxist - 1/12/2010
NO. they NEVER calculated that... so in fact Great Depression unemployment was HIGHER THAN 25%!!!!! Did we care about the "real" unemployment numbers in 1983 when it was over 10%??? Or does that only count now because conservatives want to make a bigger deal than when Reagan was president?
Answered By: Bobby7 - 1/12/2010
yes they still don't do it now either, which is why our unemployment rate is somewhat misleading.
Answered By: matt83840 - 1/12/2010
There were not the same counting techniques, in fact there were few for labor OR economics. The rate that is put out is the U3 rate, which are people "in the system." The U6 rate that you mention include ALL those who say they would like a job but don't have one, or are VERY underemployed. It's been that way for a... More
Answered By: Anna P - 1/12/2010
There is no real way to count it other than who is receiving unemployment. So, if you lose your benefits (if if you were like me and owned your own business, and therefor ineligible for benefits) they don't consider you "unemployed"...
Answered By: as.erwin - 1/12/2010
no i think they are calculated the same as always, or near enough, or the unemployment in the 30's would of been through the roof, don't forget that less women worked back then
Answered By: Chibi - thulhu - 1/12/2010
As long as I can remember only new claims are included in unemployment figures.*
Answered By: firewomen - 1/12/2010
A man could not get a job back than and today it is getting to that point, the problem is that Big Business is still making money by getting products made over seas.
Answered By: Coop 366 - 1/12/2010
Today they do not count accurately since they skew the numbers through illegal programs as implemented by State governments. They use flawed stat qualifications for the problem.
Answered By: towwwdothello - 1/12/2010
The government has always played with the figures. One reason Bush would never extend underemployment benefits under his regime is that it would have forced him to admit more people were unemployed... More
Answered By: Bopped - 1/12/2010
To compare the US in the 1930's to the US of today is apples and oranges... More
Answered By: - 1/12/2010
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