Friday, September 16, 2011

Can a 9.5% jobless rate be called "steady"?

Today, the Commonwealth of Kentucky issued a press release announcing last month's unemployment numbers with this headline:

"Kentucky's jobless rate steady at 9.5 percent in August 2011"

It's interesting that the Education and Workforce Cabinet chose to label the jobless rate "steady." To me, the word "steady" implies the sense that affairs are on solid footing and that the outlook is certain. While it is true that the jobless rate didn't move from July to August, a label of "steady" is a very misleading representation of the current situation.

Our jobless rate continues to remain above the national average (9.1 percent), and there is no euphemism that can paint the current economic outlook in a brighter light than reality: over 9 percent of Kentucky's workforce is out of work. I'd hardly call that steady.

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