Friday, March 06, 2009

Unemployment Statistics

Are out today, and are bad. Some discussion in the blogosphere (Brad DeLong and TPM among them, I think) about comparisons with the past. As between now and 1930, say, I think the following are true:
  • we may have fewer (proportionately) people institutionalized for mental problems
  • we definitely have more people imprisoned (there's an interesting argument that since the 1950's we've moved people out of mental hospitals and into jails, keeping the proportion in some sort of involuntary confinement roughly the same)
  • we have many more people in educational institutions
  • we have more women working outside the home
  • we have more people working inside the home (i.e., by computer, call-centers)
  • we have more temporary workers.
  • we have more older people able to work (i.e., better health and longer lived)
  • we have fewer old people working (Social Security)
  • we have more people in the military
  • we have more people in the government

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