Won’t you please hire the discouraged?

Posted in Whatever Else on October 26th, 2009 by bill

Interesting article in the Chronicle today about “underemployment,” a phenomenon with which I am intimately familiar. According to Tom Abata,

The state Employment Development Department estimates that [the] underemployment rate hit 21.9 percent in September. That figure includes 1.9 million jobless Californians, 1.4 million people who had to work part time, and 865,000 adults loosely described as discouraged.

This struck me as odd incursion of emotion into the world of statistics. That’s a lot of discouraged people, and it doesn’t even account for the disillusioned, the disinterested, the disoriented, the distraught, the distracted, the dissipated, or the disquieted; although, to be fair, there’s a lot of overlap in those categories.