Sunday, June 26, 2016

Do We Need a New Unemployment Category: Elitist Unemployed?

Whenever I point out the fact that unemployment has fallen dramatically since the Great Recession...

...inevitably someone in the comments will pipe up and add, "But you are not taking into account those so discouraged that they have given up looking for work."

But who are these non-lookers? It is certainly not the case that they can't find jobs.

It would take a skilled programmer about an hour to find a job. I have heard of pure jackasses that couldn't sell a bottle of ice cold water in the desert who have landed sales positions with base salaries of $60k to $80k.

And there are plenty of jobs for non-skilled workers. I travel enough to see help wanted signs across the country for non-skilled workers. Here in downtown San Francisco, you see them almost every block:


So somehow we have "discouraged" workers who can't find jobs despite there being jobs all around. How are they surviving if they haven't had jobs since the start of the Great Recession?

I suspect some are working under the table and reporting they can't find jobs.

What is left are not "discouraged" workers who can't find work, they are looking for jobs that don't exist in the real world and probably have it too comfy as full time gigolos "looking" for work.

Anyone who hasn't worked since the Great Recession would be long dead from starvation if they weren't finagling some kind of angle. They are not discouraged, they are elitist unemployed, who have it way too comfortable now to be looking for work. Outside of the extreme low productivity workers who aren't worth the minimum wage, it is really difficult to see how someone couldn't get a job if he wanted one.



  1. Very good analysis.

    I expect the reason they don't want to find work is that it would downgrade their "benefits" AKA
    Gov't Food
    Gov't Unemployment checks
    and whatever else freebies they qualify for. If they make more than $1,100 one month, they might face heavy losses.

    They can stay at home for $850 a month or work for $1,100. That's what it comes down to.

    It's marginal utility applied to time?

    1. If benefits are more than wages, why work?

  2. Completely agreed. I can easily list pages of ppl I know personally whom have managed to find work the moment all safety net options (private and public) were exhausted. Sure I wish they could find better work, but a job is a job. As Dr. Block would say, "1 is better than 0"; either way waiting for that magical job to find you is pointless. You have to be aggressive to an extreme. I liked how on your 'How to get a Super Fantastic Job' you pointed out that some ppl even take table waiting just to gain access to potential network targets. I'm all for blaming the FED, GOV, etc for the conditions we find ourselves in, but simply knowing who is to blame doesnt put food on the table.

  3. Meanwhile in Illinois: When the workforce shrinks faster than the number of jobs the unemployment rate goes down. Illinois is also losing population so maybe people are moving closer to the fed money taps to find a job.

  4. And then there are the close to retirement types who would prefer to work, but have enough money to hold out for a senior position, and if things don't work out, would prefer to have early retirement than take a lower-paying job they don't need that badly and feel would be "beneath" them.