Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Germany's Different Unemployment Rates

Dean Baker criticizes the New York Times for reporting Germany's unemployment rate as 6.7% instead of 5.5%. The 5.5% rate refers to those who have no job at all, while the 6.7% rate also includes those who have only a part-time job but would want to have full-time employment instead. While there is a case for including those who have fewer hours than they want to, it becomes misleading to include them while making comparisons between countries because other countries only include those who are so to speak full time unemployed.

I agree with Baker on this point, and could add that numerous other media outlets make the same mistake as New York Times. but he is actually wrong to assert that the German government reports the higher number as its official rate. Obviously, the German government reported it, as they are the source of both numbers, but the number specified in its official press release on employment and unemployment is in fact 5.5% and only (for the overall unemployment rate) 5.5%. The same goes for the Eurostat release on unemployment in the 27 EU countries including Germany. That makes it all the more puzzling why so many media outlets insist on using the higher number for Germany, and only Germany.


Blogger traumerei said...

If Germany is indeed the only major country reported in this way by the media, then perhaps using a higher unemployment number helps mitigate their figure relative to the "stimulus" nations.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Stina Jackson said...

Hej Stefan,

I found you through the LvM website, and I really admire and appreciate your work. I'm currently studying law in the U.S. (where I live permanently now even though I was born and raised in Sweden).

I have begun blogging because of the current state that the U.S. academia (and to a certain extent) U.S. society is steeped in leftist viewpoints.

I hear everyday students (and in more subtle ways, some of the faculty) calling for tax increases, admiring the Scandinavian models, and despising "the rich."

I am not an economist, but I'm trying to expose the misery of socialism to my fellow classmates and others.

Thank you for work, if you don't mind, I will link your blog on my page, and feel free to visit it and share you thoughts when you have the time.



5:59 PM  

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