Thursday, July 16, 2009

One in four Oregonians is underemployed

From the Bend Bulletin:

In California and a handful of other states, one out of every five people who would like to be working full time is not now doing so.
It is a startling sign of the pain that the Great Recession is inflicting, and it is largely missed by the official, oft-repeated statistics on unemployment. The national unemployment rate has risen to 9.5 percent, the highest level in more than a quarter-century. Yet it still excludes all those who have given up looking for a job and those part-time workers who want to be working full time.

Include them — as the Labor Department does when calculating its broadest measure of the job market — and the rate reached 23.5 percent in Oregon this spring, according to a New York Times analysis of state-by-state data. It was 21.5 percent in both Michigan and Rhode Island and 20.3 percent in California. In Arizona, Tennessee, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio, the rate was just under 20 percent this spring and may have since surpassed it.
Almost nobody believes that unemployment has finished rising, either. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he expected it to “tick up for several months.”