Happy Labor Day! When The Unemployment Rate Hits 100%!

Hey there… I’ve been blogging here over ten years and have posted a number of times about how I feel about the unemployment rate. It’s pretty much a facade. The only saving grace is that it is standardized, which means that every time you read an unemployment number it is measured the same way it has been forever.

What does 3.1% mean? What does 7% mean?  You think a low unemployment rate is awesome, but economists tell us it is not awesome. It means there “isn’t enough supply” (supply being us, workers), and it’s unhealthy for the economy. Economists like it when the unemployment rate is a bit higher… because there is a healthy tension instead of things being off-balance.

I remember one speaking trip to Minneapolis where I was doing a few keynotes. At breakfast I saw the front page, above the fold headlines, which bragged about how the area’s unemployment rate was really low (one of the best in the nation). This was clearly written by a journalist, not an economist. Anyway, I was about to speak to about 100 unemployed professionals who were experiencing something different than a celebratory economy.

I don’t care what the government or journalists say about the unemployment rate…. when you are unemployed, your unemployment rate hits 100%. It’s demoralizing to read how great the economy is doing when you in a job search… especially after the first few weeks of the job search honeymoon.

If this is you… if you are experiencing 100% unemployment, ignore the numbers and ignore the comments about how great things are. Your reality is not aligned with what people are saying. I know that. I lived that.

What do you do?

Get to work, doing the right things. Spend time and effort in the right places. Figure out a system that works, and then work the system! Put time and effort and patience into it, and reevaluate and tweak the system to ensure you do more of the right things and less of the wrong things.

And phooey to those unemployment numbers, when yours is personally 100%. Get to work so you can get back to work.