每日新闻更新 — 所谓的低失业率其实就是一堆谎言和统计数据而已 The Daily Update – Unemployment; lies damned lies and statistics

这个月迎来了这一轮美国经济扩张的第十个年头。如果我们能将这个周期延至7月份,那么它将超过1991至2001年的那一轮增长周期,成为自1854年以来最长的扩张周期。

这一成就确实令人称赞,不错,5月份的失业率为3.6%,是50年来的最低水平,然而,除了目前的低失业率水平之外,从这次的扩张中可能很难看到还有什么了不起的亮点。那么为什么工资通胀没有像我们那些所有的“独臂朋友”通常预期的那样发生任何有意义的上升? 美联储提高了基金利率,把紧缩的劳动力市场状况称作为主要原因,期待工资增长能推高价格指标的提升。然而,官方公布的通胀指标仍然低于美联储2%的目标。

造成这种情况的原因有很多,但最近有一种观点认为,雇主似乎倾向于为那些过去挣扎的人群、残疾人、少数民族、受教育程度较低的人群以及高龄人群提供就业机会,这种趋势使得工资无法上涨。

根据美国劳工统计局的数据,只有3.1%的25至54岁的男性正式失业,其实,还有10.8%的人根本就不在劳动力市场中,因为有些人并没有被包括在主要就业统计的数据中,这些人虽说(长期以来一直)在寻求全职工作,但他们已经停止寻找工作或者进入了半工就业状态。

该观点认为,尽管媒体的头条报道的失业率很低,但这些数字其实掩盖了工人害怕冒着失去工作的风险要求加薪的事实真相;即使目前这一轮扩张最引以为豪的是历史上最低水平的失业率,但是劳动力的储备大军只是处于隐形状态而已,它增加了人们在工作方面的不安全感。

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