Congressman Chris Collins, NY-27, is co-sponsoring legislation in the House of Representatives that would help create a more accurate picture of America's unemployment problem. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' measure that calculates the monthly unemployment figure does not include the number of people who have given up looking for work. The Real Unemployment Calculation Act (H.R. 484) would require that this measure be included in the overall monthly unemployment figure.
The national unemployment figure for March was 7.6 percent. However, if the calculation included the number of people who are able to work, but have become too discouraged to continue to look for a job, the unemployment figure would have increased to 8.9 percent.
"As leaders in Washington continue to debate how best to help our country recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, we need an accurate picture of America's unemployment problem," Collins said. "By not including the number of people who stopped looking for work in the monthly figure, we are pretending the situation is far rosier than those who are currently unemployed know it to be. Washington must face the jobs crisis in this country head on, and I am hopeful that being confronted with the complete unemployment picture each month will spur lawmakers and the president to work with the business community to get our economy moving to help employers expand their businesses and create jobs."
This legislation was introduced by Congressman Duncan Hunter of California.