Banking

Jobless rates put Misery Index at record 11.7 percent

The U.S. Government's Misery Index is at its highest since 1993.

The U.S. Government's Misery Index is at its highest since 1993.

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I got a press release today announcing the details of a new analysis released last week by the Campaign for America's Future. The upshot of the findings was that the Misery Index is at the highest since 1993. (Who'd have thought that the federal government, the same people who brought us sleep-inducing terms like "civilian noninstitutional population" and "consumer price index," could whip out a pleasingly blunt term like Misery Index?)

Since the index represents the sum of unemployment and inflation rates, I guess there's no more appropriate term to use. The number reflects the fact that, according to Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, "Honest people who work hard for a living are struggling to make ends meet. The misery is felt at the gas pump and the grocery store and it's getting worse, not better."

If you'd like to take a gander at how the Misery Rate breaks down over the years, the government offers a site here. Here's to hoping things turn around soon. (My Optimistic Rate is 24 percent.)

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

17 comments
Fregeus
Fregeus

...that the best year, according to this, was in 1955. We have been miserable for a looooong time :-) TCB

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

First question: Was the inflation rates used for TOTAL goods and services, or was it for only certain indexes? The federal government is real good at excluding things like food or fuel from the inflation rate. Second question: Did the percentage of unemployed include people not working who were employable? The feds have changed the methods of computing the unemployment rate many times. And they do not include people who are still job seeking more than 1 year after employment, nor do they include people who have given up in dispair - which is what I would call REALLY MISERABLE!

mrmiata7
mrmiata7

Despite the skyrocketing unemployment rate those completely out of touch corporate America owned and manipulated puppets in Washington, D.C. are trying to ram through 550,000 additional H1B visas in addition to the one million they approved last year along with millions of H2A and H2B visas. Both candidates for president and most members of congress support this sham, especially the so called House leadership (Pelosi and Hoyer) and Senate leadership (Reid) who are spearheading this monstrosity. Who is representing the American people as it seems we are on our own.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...that we're a government by the rich, of the rich, for the rich??? ;) Seriously, it's getting to the point that if you want to 'support America', you need to purchase Japanese cars (I remember reading somewhere earlier this year that Honda now employs more American workers than does Chrysler...I'll check later to see if I can find that out for certain and edit the post accordingly), Chinese computers (Lenovo has a big support center down in the Atlanta area), and drink European beer (Miller/Budweiser both controlled by Euro firms). Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, et al. are no doubt doing rapid 360's right about now!!

Robert8506
Robert8506

The Misery Index greatly understates the facts of our economic problems. A better source of information, one that actually -corrects- the understated government "official" economic statistics is: http://shadowstats.com - Shadow Government Statistics, by the noted businessman and economist John Williams.

DadsPad
DadsPad

and gotten better!! Usefull to look at, but not very good for trend setting. Any time that unemployment is low and inflation is high is not good.

dbbarnett
dbbarnett

The url is not a .gov address - so who is running the site? Also at the bottom left of the page it says this page last edited on 2/24/2006 ? More of a prediction than facts! DBB

jruth
jruth

From the MiseryIndex.US home page: "This site is designed, maintained and hosted by NPA Services, Inc."

DadsPad
DadsPad

Only the unemployment rate was from a .gov site. Why was not the inflation rate from a .gov site? Something not quite right here!!

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

measure everything?

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Of course I work as a data and statistical analyst. No measuring and my feild of employment disappears. More importantly, no measuring = no science = the end of U.S. leadership in innovation.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

This is NOT a grass roots public movement. This is a blatantly Liberal biased group masquerading as something it's not. After three decades of conservative dominance in American politics, we Americans are threatened with economic disintegration, environmental devastation and international isolation. The list of failure is simply exhausting: a disastrous Iraq occupation, a destabilized Middle East and Asia, the persistent threat of terrorism, a menacing climate crisis, an insecure and dwindling energy supply, unprecedented trade deficits, unchecked global corporate power, our broken health care system, a weakened pension system and an increasingly inaccessible higher education system. Iraq is NOT a disaster. My son was just there and, though there are still problems, the progress is remarkable. The Middle East has been unstable since 1948 recently and for thousands of years in history. It will REMAIN unstable as long as Muslims seek the destruction of Israel. Umm, remind me. When was the last attack on the US? The latest data actually shows a small DECREASE in global temperature last year. It's the Liberals/Democrats that are blocking most of the paths to energy independence. What "environmental devastation?" There are actually more MILLION acres of forest land in the US now than at the turn of the century. I'd rather stand up for what's right alone than follow the crowd in doing wrong. Remember all those peer pressure talks from school? Bottom-Line: If you expect the govt. to do everything for you and provide for your every need then, yes, you're going to be miserable. Stand up for yourself and stop whining. Do whatever it takes to better yourself and don't look for any handouts.

megabaum
megabaum

Jack, It's funny how you assume everyone is whining; that unemployed workers are not already doing everything they can to find work. Reality Check: The problems in the US economy, specifically unemployment, cannot be solved with the age old "stop whining" and "better yourself" approach. Not this time... This time citizens are more intelligent and understanding of the fact that the laws and policies coming out of Washington serve US corporations, while harming US citizens and the country we live in. For all of these reasons, both of our 2008 candidates are hoping to become elected on the basis that they ARE going to "change the way Washington works". See, this is what US voters want to hear and this is the realization for voters/ politicians in the 21st century! FACT, not fiction. Sanity Check: You should spare readers from your lectures, which assume people are sitting around "whining" and asking for handouts! You might also benefit from getting with the times... and further realizing that you're addressing a professional, intelligent, hard working audience. Handouts? Who's getting a handout? Anyone, anyone, ... Bueler? Do you know of some secret handout that the rest of the country is unaware of? Anyhow, I really can't think of any US "techies", or posters, who are asking for a handout because of the economy: LOL. ****, I can't think of anyone stupid enough to believe that there's actually a handout available! **Shoot the only ones getting a handout are US corporations! So perhaps your theories are better applied to corporate America. In the meantime, WE (US citizens), already realize that we're on our own here! I leave you with this final thought... "To expect ethical behavior and policy from the US government is to be democratic; not to be confused with "whining". ~TTYL

jck
jck

[i]This is NOT a grass roots public movement. This is a blatantly Liberal biased group masquerading as something it's not.[/i] yes...the tone of their rhetoric is quite slanted. However, what is the name of the group you got this from? [i]Iraq is NOT a disaster. My son was just there and, though there are still problems, the progress is remarkable.[/i] Er. The progress [b]was[/b] remarkable. In terms of reconstruction of facilities and what not, it's at a stand still. In terms of taking over areas and keeping insurgents out, that has never succeeded. As soon as troops leave an area, they come back in and bomb businesses and what not. I have friends over there now, as well as ones who have just come back and are scheduled to go back again in early next year. [i]The Middle East has been unstable since 1948 recently and for thousands of years in history. It will REMAIN unstable as long as Muslims seek the destruction of Israel.[/i] The Middle East has been unstable for centuries, not just since the establishment of the Israeli state...and not since Hammurabi. [i]Umm, remind me. When was the last attack on the US?[/i] On the United States? Please define the scope of "attack". You mean of similar nature to the WTC both times? Only from foreign terrorists? [i]The latest data actually shows a small DECREASE in global temperature last year.[/i] That actually depends on your source: NASA says 2007 tied for 2nd warmest year since they started using data instruments: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/ The Pew Center on Global Climate change shows an slight increase: http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/facts_and_figures/temp_ghg_trends/temp.cfm The World Meteorlogical Organization (in conjunction with IPCC) stated "The year 2005 was most likely one of the two warmest years on record since 1850." in their last published statement on their website: http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/wcp/wcdmp/statement/documents/WMO998_E.pdf So, I'm not sure where you're getting your information from. The past year (and 2 years prior) have been globally some of the warmest in recorded history according to American and other research organizations who specialize in climate and weather. [i]It's the Liberals/Democrats that are blocking most of the paths to energy independence.[/i] Actually, the only thing blocking auto manufacturers from developing non-fossil fuel technology are themselves. They have the money. They just want to get federal money so they don't have to spend any of theirs and decrease their profits. As well, they and the oil industry are buddies and have been for over 50 years. They don't wanna take away their cush jobs on the Board of Directors of those oil companies. [i]What "environmental devastation?" There are actually more MILLION acres of forest land in the US now than at the turn of the century.[/i] Yes. But for every acre of forest land we replenish in the United States, far more are being cut and burned in the Amazon rainforest alone. Although the rates have declined since 2004, the deforestation in the Amazon alone still means that in the next 50 years, the Amazon will be 80-90 percent depleted. [i]I'd rather stand up for what's right alone than follow the crowd in doing wrong. Remember all those peer pressure talks from school?[/i] Yeah, I remember them. They were about drugs and alcohol and other criminal acts. Not pre-emptive measures to ensure maintenance of ecology and environment as its been for 1000s of years. [i]Bottom-Line: If you expect the govt. to do everything for you and provide for your every need then, yes, you're going to be miserable.[/i] I'm already miserable. All they do is send me a tax bill every year. [i]Stand up for yourself and stop whining. Do whatever it takes to better yourself and don't look for any handouts. [/i] That's what I just did. I'd like you to present me with facts from non-wiki, scientific research organizations that opposes mine, please. Yours truly, jck - a.k.a.: jdclyde's favorite leftist wingnut registered Republican. :^0

TheProfessorDan
TheProfessorDan

I like your post Jackofalltech. I do think that there are some issues in the world but let's be honest, has there been a time and and era when their weren't?

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