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Up Front - September 7, 2012 at 7:00am

Up Front, for September 7, 2012 - 7:00am

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Hi, I'm not sure what you're

I'm not sure what you're referring to. The unemployment statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the day of this broadcast don't tally the number of people receiving unemployment *benefits*, they tally the total number of people who 1) don't have work, 2) are available for work, and 3) have looked for work in the past four weeks. Once someone tells a BLS survey-taker that they haven't been actively looking for work, that person drops out of the official unemployment count. More on the BLS methodology here:

It seems idiotic, to put it

It seems idiotic, to put it mildly, for journalists, such as BET, to say people have stopped looking for work when those figures are derived from people who simply reached the end of their unemployment checks. Those workers are still "participating" in the work force, contrary to what BET would have us think. It's not like they decided, "Oh, I want to be unemployed now and without an income." Unless, they live in well-to-do households (which is not the question here), they haven't voluntarily decided to be unemployed. And they cannot be simply written off as having "stopped looking for work" simply because the state no longer deems them worthy of unemployment compensation. Linguistical subtleties, such as these have profound impacts. And it's irresponsible of intellectuals, such as BET (who know better), to perpetuate the linguistical dishonesties of the state.

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