How Many People Do You Know Are Unemployed?

How many unemployed workers are there today? The unemployment rate in the US is roughly 6% as of February 2021. However, I'm hard pressed to find anywhere close to 6% of the people I know who are unemployed. If you listen to the media, you'd think the world was coming to an end again. But, if you look around, traffic is back and businesses are bustling again.

Off the top of my head, there are two acquaintances I know who aren't working. One guy is well-off and voluntarily quit his job last year to relocate back to his home country. The other guy got let go two years ago after a hedge fund he was working at blew up. He can find work if he wants, but he decided to travel the world for a couple years instead. Are they considered unemployed? Hard to say.

How many unemployed friends do you have right now? With 6% unemployment, there should logically be about 18 people I know out of 300 who are unemployed. If you believe the media's “underemployment” figure of ~10%, then roughly 30 people of the 300 should be underemployed or jobless. 

I looked on Facebook and LinkedIn to dig a little deeper, and I found only three more people who are currently in transition. If you count the 2 above, which I don't because they can find work if they want to, the unemployment rate in my network is 1.7% (5 out of ~300).  Is unemployment really that high? Maybe people who have internet connections are a protected group…

Unemployment Rate Disconnect

I want to try and understand this disconnect in the unemployment figures. Perhaps the disconnect has something to do with living in San Francisco and knowing many people with Masters and Doctorate degrees

But, as I look once again at my online connections, many are from around the country and the world. In addition, many work in various fields, and just have their undergraduate degrees. Perhaps we tend to hang out with other people who are more similar to ourselves? In other words, if you are employed, you tend to just hang out with other employed people. 

Whereas if you are unemployed, you can't hang out with the employed during the day because they are working. Thus, you may tend to stick with other unemployed folks who have more freedom to do what they want.

Maybe there are people online that I know who are unemployed. But, perhaps they just don't change their LinkedIn profile to save face. It's just so hard to tell. 

Every time I take a mini-staycation and go wander around San Francisco in the middle of the day, everywhere I go is absolutely packed. From the french bakery around the corner, to the major shopping districts, people are everywhere. It's the same thing when I go to San Diego, New York City, Honolulu, or Los Angeles. Something is going on here and I can't place my finger on it.

Or perhaps there is actually no disconnect at all, because there's no point in working at the local KFC when you can collect unemployment benefits. Why try and earn an extra $400 bucks a month slaving away when you can spend your time searching for a better job and make almost the same through unemployment? I'm almost tempted to buy a shirt that says, “Why Work?”

The Answer Lies In The Comments

Thanks to the comments so far, I think we can come up with an answer to the massive disconnect. Did you know that about 50% of Americans have some sort of college education, but only 30% of Americans have college degrees

I have to admit that I thought the number was closer to 50-60% for those who have degrees. When employers and the media increasingly start comparing undergraduate degrees to just high school diplomas, it becomes increasingly clear that education is one of the keys to employment.

If you own a company, it is your duty to shareholders that you maximize profits and do some good in the process. Part of becoming the best company is to hire the best people. 

You're likely going to hire a skilled and educated worker with a college degree or higher than someone who didn't make it through college, for whatever reason. Sure, there will be exceptions, but when there are thousands of unemployed college educated workers as well, you might as well start from the top down.

I asked six other people I know to survey their own circle of friends and acquaintances. The sample set grew to over 1,200 and all of them said they only know 2-4 people each. They are all college educated people with 7-15 years of experience in law, high tech, banking, and internet. I think we're just hanging around with people who are roughly similar to ourselves in educational background.

Buckle Your Seatbelts!

At the present, it seems like the unemployment picture is much better than expected in the big cities. The bottom line is this: do whatever you can to get a college education.

Readers, please share with us how many unemployed people you know. What percentage is that of your total network? Please also tell us where you're located. Let's be completely objective here and avoid the biases to analyze the true level of unemployment.


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81 thoughts on “How Many People Do You Know Are Unemployed?”

  1. I think the answer to this is mostly in rural america especially around the rust belt think michigan ohio upstate ny etc. Im from utica initially and go back to visit every now and again. Take a walk down downtown utica and not the nice parts of silicon valley and I assure you youll have better luck finding more unemployed people to fill the statistics.

    Also you tend to make friends through other friends or in your daily activities. If those activities included working in tech or finance, hanging out at a private club or going to college youre certainly not going to be running into a lot of long term unemployed. Again hard times could hit anybody but the long term unemployed are the bottom 10 percent who get let go that nobody wants to hire back on and those people dont want to move down the social ladder because theyve become accustomed to a standard of living and can get by the same on unemployment as the lower job.

  2. Your piece here has nearly zero credibility. Nobody in their right mind measures economic indicators by who they know. Certain sectors (secondary education, for example) would find extremely low unemployment among their peers. For construction workers it is a very different picture. Factor in age groups and you have another perspective. Seniors are being very hard hit because employers figure that there is less “damage” because the seniors can retire if laid off so they become a target of downsizing. And seniors who don’t want to retire are hitting the age discrimination wall even though it is against the law. I find the whole tone of your article to be insulting, condescending, elitist, narrow minded, and completely lacking in academically sound basis. Shame on you for publishing such dribble.

    1. Are you suffering Norm? Share with us your perspective.

      Notice the date of this article, and where unemployment and the stock market is now.

      Be an optimist. Life is too short.

  3. Hattie Taro

    I personally know 22 people who are out of work, all but two are either just out of college and having a very hard time finding work, or are over 50 and were forced out of their jobs because of “cut backs.” 6 people in my acquantance were fired the moment they began having health problems related to their age, one had to have a stint put in his leg, another had to have her back looked at, and so on. As soon as they started using the company insurance plan, which none of them had ever had to do before, suddenly they found that they were no longer an asset to the team and summarily dismissed. My demagraphic and theirs is lower middle class, mostly retail and office workers and a few photographers forced out of their field as much by changes in technology as the shakey economy. One has had to take out a substantial lone to go back to school, after having gotten his Master’s in photography a decade ago, now pretty much useless unless you want to push buttons at a Wal-Mart kiosk.

  4. All of these responses are basically anecdotal in nature. Random observations by a self-selected set of respondents isn’t useful except as a means to validate your personal preconceptions. A large percentage of the people I know are out of work, or working in much less skilled jobs. They all have college degrees, and I myself have an MBA. This is still no basis for assessing a national phenomenon because its not statistically significant. Of course the government statistics are “cooked”, but they can provide a rough estimate of what’s going on nationally if you forage through the data to find the useful facts. One thing we know for sure, things don’t look good no matter how you slice it.
    As a side note, I think this is only a tiny sample of what we’re in for over the next 25 years. Things don’t look good for the near future, and the reasons why are too numerous to mention here. Capitalism is a high speed, one-way, dead end drag race. It’s tremendous fun while it lasts, but it will always end in the same way. The primary purpose of a civilized society is to promote the human well-being of all it’s members. All social activities (economic, political, etc.) must be subordinated to this single purpose, or else why would any rational human being consent to be a member of society? There must also be a means for people to acquire individual benefit from their personal efforts (merit), but without damaging the well-being of the other members of the society.
    In any case, based on my viewpoint, I predict that unemployment (real) will continue to rise over the next 10 years to levels that are currently unthinkable (> 30%). This will be a global phenomenon as well. If you want to know why I think this will be our path then you should review the work of such thinkers as Nicole Foss, Albert A. Bartlett, David Harvey, Joseph Tainter, Chalmers Johnson, Ha-Joon Chang, Dmitry Orlov, etc. The old “Cowboy Economics” based on “every man for himself” is dead, and we need to evolve to “Spaceship Economics” based on “we’re all in this together”.

  5. I doubt that 9 to 10% of the workers (vs. students, mom’s, retired, etc.) I know are unemployed but that really does not mean a lot. I’m employed, educated, middle aged, a live on the CA central coast so I would not really be associating with the ones hardest hit. I don’t live in the CA Central Valley, associate with lots of teen-20’s or low educated and those group are having lots of troubles. I have several friend who have been out of work for over a year. On friend has been laid-off twice and is have to commute from Gilroy to his current job in San Diego.
    Skill, talent, and hard work makes a big difference in life but luck applies. Many people have made career bets in fields like manufacturing and construction and just found out they that their efforts have been marginalized. They may be able to recover but years of life investment has been wiped out.

  6. Many of you sound very out of touch. There are about 1000 resumes for every job advertised in the Atlanta metro area. Most unemployed don’t even know that software is sorting resumes and deleting the ones that do not meet certain criteria. There are now sites that help us understand how to construct a resume to be sorted to our advantage, but who knows about it? Maybe some IT folks who have had to create their own one man companies in hopes of filling the gap until an interview is offered. I’ve had one interview in 3 1/2 yrs…for any job, not just IT. Publix will not even consider me probably b/c my resume isn’t sorted in my favor. Each company sorts resumes differently so how can we win?

  7. Out of the maybe 100 people I know 3 are unemployed. All three are without degrees two are in their mid 20’s and one in her 50’s. I had a friend also graduate from Yale who settled for a collections job after being unemployed for about a year.

  8. Of my 300 Plus social network friends, probably close to 75 would be considered unemployed. Of those, about 50 are volunteers that make a tiny stipend (about $20-$50 a week, kid you not). Of the others, many of us are in school, trying to get our Master’s degrees. One is “retired” at 40 – he plays the stock market, but he’s also trying to get his own business off the ground. Another friend around age 30 is in a similar situation, although he comes from a construction background.

    Many of my friends live in the Midwest US. However, many of the volunteers are traveling around the country or around the world. I can say that many of my peeps are under-employed, highly intelligent folks. Some are “stuck” doing fast-food management. Others’ areas of expertise just dried up, or just don’t pay well. Others make enough, but not in the field they studied for by any stretch.

    As for the folks who turn their noses up at the $95 K/year jobs…that’s ok. If they’re handing them out, I’ll take one once I complete my Master’s. I’m not too proud, especially considering my last permanent gig prior to getting my BA landed me right around $35K. :)

  9. Invest It Wisely

    I don’t currently know anyone who’s unemployed. Then again most of the people in my not-very-big circle are people at work and people in the same point of life that I am! I also helped a couple graduate friends get jobs, so they no longer counted. ;)

  10. Sam,

    For my rough estimate of people I know in the USA, it is 20% or 3/15 people… Person 1 has been unemployed for 4 years, and is taking an unpaid internship to try to get more experience. Person 2 has been laid off 9 months now, person 3 has been laid off 4 months. All have college degrees and person 1 has a degree from U Penn.


      1. Add another one to the list, or 4/16… just found out a very capable 50 something lady was let go from RIMM… getting ugly.

        At least Obama delivered on his “Hope and Change” campaign.

        People still hoping and the dollar is worth spare change compared to before the crazy stimulus was launched.

        I haven’t kept in close contact with the other people I know, maybe it’s time to re-survey.

  11. Lisa @ Cents To Save

    I am currently unemployed and not by MY choice. I am currently looking for employment in my field ( Sonography). I also have my BS degree in education, but chose to stay in Sonography. Luckily I have an interview set up on Monday and am very hopeful about that potential position.

  12. Not only is education a key factor in employment, but the higher your degree, the less likely you will be unemployed. If you are unemployed take this time to boost your marketabilitly with more education, seek out community college, technical college or other.

  13. Darwin's Money

    I presently don’t know anyone that’s unemployed. I knew one husband of a wife’s friend who was laid off from Wall Street during the crash in 2009. He’s now making probably 250-300K again. Contrast that though with millions of Americans that would have this to say – “pretty much everyone I know that is of working age is currently unemployed”. As you know, there’s an inverse correlation between education and unemployment. Also regional, racial and cultural trends. So much depends on who you ask. Interesting poll.

  14. Those are my exactly my thoughts Sam, I was in NJ last week where I met up with many people. 1 guy found a job in a big company as a project manager after being unemployed for 4 years and his company is currently hiring. The other person lost his job 1 year ago and deliberately refuses to take any $10/hr job. He is going back to school to pick up a new set of skills (on the government’s expense) before he gets back to work.

    Boardwalks are full, restaurant are full, the mall is busy. I did not see the end of the US while I was there for a week.

    All this fear frenzy might end up triggering a recession because of the political paralysis in the US and Europe to put these debt issues to rest in one way or another. Sad…

  15. World of Finance

    Interesting article. I agree that we tend to surround ourselves with people like ourselves. I made a comment a while back, don’t even remember what it was regarding exactly, and someone actually reminded me that my circle of friends does not truly reflect a sample of the whole population. For example, people I know today for the most part, I met in my undergrad and grad programs and also from work. Therefore, this is a skewed part of the population. Also, it seems that most of your readers are also educated and know a similar skewed part of the population such as myself. I don’t know anyone who is completely unemployed, many dislike their jobs but can’t seem to find another one that they want and another friend in Canada actually, is working a part-time job and has been looking for a FT job for over a year now.

    1. It’s strange that even though we know hundreds of people.. and there are thousands of people reading this site everyday, that so few people are unemployed.

      It really could be that having internet access protects us from unemployment!

  16. Good morning Samurai,

    My husband/partner and I were talking about this ourselves yesterday evening, in fact, before I read your article in my RSS feed.

    Overall, he (software engineer) and I (former private school administrator) don’t know anyone who is unemployed and actively working for work. I know some housewives/househusbands, but to me they aren’t “unemployed” as they wouldn’t take a job if one were offered to them. I know two people who are living with their parents and who don’t have jobs, and one of them is nominally looking for a job, but that’s it. My husband knows maybe one or two people beyond these two as well. Given that we know at least 100+ people, this isn’t more than 4% unemployment (and probably significantly less). We completely agree with you on the feeling of the disconnect.

    Looking at some numbers from the Dept of Labor for second quarter 2011, there seem to be significant education and racial breakdowns that help explain the disconnect. For example:

    White, college degree: 3.9% unemployment
    White, no high school: 12.0% unemployment
    Black, college degree: 6.9% unemployment
    Black, no high school: 26.0% unemployment

    Given that my husband and I are both white, both have graduate degrees, and tend to have friends who are predominantly white and college educated, it’s completely understandable that we’re seeing the ~4% unemployment rather than the ~26% unemployment that other groups are feeling.

  17. After looking through my facebook “friends” just a tad over 350 people there is only 6 people who are truly “unemployed”. There a few who have left jobs to be stay at home moms or go back to school utilizing the GI Bill to pay their bills so I don’t know if they count.

    All in all, I posted on Linkedin that I was looking for a change in job and within two weeks had to choose between job offers. I got a job without even doing a job interview, when I did talk to the recruiter he said that they have more jobs than candidates, main reason was that people were making $100,000 in 2007 and refuse to take the same job for $95,000 today. I think that is crazy, if the job is there you need to get over your ego and work.

    1. What? Really? People are refusing to take a 5% pay cut?

      Well that’s the thing then, if there are MORE jobs than candidates, and people are refusing, then it means that people don’t need to work right? What other reason would there be as if you don’t have the money and need to work, you’d have to get a job!

      1. I’ve read that many people just don’t have the skill sets in demand for many of these jobs. For too many years people have avoided higher math & science classes. Parents let their kids take easier subjects because they don’t like math either. Math is often a matter of practice. If your kid is not doing well in math you can hire a tutor or take him/her to math tutoring. It’s essential in today’s world. Many of the highest paying jobs require high math skills.

        1. Maybe. I find math to be highly overrated after a certain level. I quit after pre-calculus bc I found it had zero value to me.

          Best math is quick, spot on arithmetic and division!

  18. I know of 4 people with bachelor’s degrees who are unemployed and I know of 2 people with high school educations who are unemplyed–one of which graduated from a trade school & has his electrician’s license. I’m not sure how many people I know, but I’d guess at least 200. One of the bachelor’s degree people is in his late 50’s. One of the high school people is in the early 50’s. Those in their 50’s have a difficult time these days because employers prefer younger workers–less health insurance to pay. So my rate is 3% unemployment.

    1. Maggie, thanks for sharing your data point.

      Do you think those people in their 50’s are doing OK, with plenty of savings and such + unemployment benefits? Or, do you think they definitely need to get back to work ASAP? Thx

      1. They are definitely hurting & need to get work soon. One has money tied up in houses he rents, but he can’t sell those. The rent justs covers the mtg. payments & taxes. For all I know he is underwater on some of those. His unemployment has run out. His wife had cancer, so probably no one wants to hire him because of that too. They have some money in a 401K, but they are trying to not touch it even though it’s already low from the previous market downturn. I think their kids are helping them some and they are due to receive some $ from an inheritance. Not a big amount, but it helps. The other person doesn’t have much savings at all & they are scraping by with her husband’s salary. She is resilient & will probably find work after a while.

        1. That’s bad to hear Maggie. What do you think is the biggest reason why have 30 years of working they are still hurting? It honestly worries me that after 30 years of working in America, I would not be able to live a comfortable life, let alone retire.

          BTW, watermelon juice is one of my favorite drinks! (from your site) I drink it always.

        2. The 59 year old was a high-ranking executive with many national awards. On the side he bought older houses, fixed them up & rented them. Sometimes he flipped them for profit to buy more houses. He has about 10 now with good renters. He has one house he can’t sell to cover his remodel costs & might have to rent it. He’s at an age where people don’t want to hire him in his niche. He lost a lot in the market in his 401K. He’d switched jobs a few times so no real good pension available. Social Security won’t kick in for several years yet. His wife is not healthy enough to work. I’m thinking employers don’t want to hire him because of her cancer. Perhaps he overinvested in houses, but it worked well for many years for him. He can’t sell the houses except at a loss in today’s market. The rent covers the expenses & mtg. for each house, but give very little profit to him. After the mtgs. are paid off he could sell, but it’s a bad market for that. I don’t know what he could have done differntly–they did not live a lavish life style.

          The 52-year-old has just a high school education & has worked at various places as an admistrative assistant. She’s also done medical billing at home & been a weekend cook at restaurants. Her kids are grown, so she doesn’t have to support them anymore. Possibly she could have had more job security by taking training for a health care job. We see lots of people in their 40s in that for a new career. It’s hard to say if that would help her at this age.

          Being in your 50s is not a good place to be these days. Employers want to lay of those who could have more medical expenses and those who are higher on the salary ladder.

          Glad you enjoy watermelon juice! Agua fresca!

  19. I guess it depends on what you mean by “know”. I know plenty of people at work who are not unemployed there. Many of my personal friends are also employed. I am sure that there are a few I should “know” that are unemployed. But I do hang out with educated folks as well. I would have to say that it might be on the order of 1-2% at most.

  20. I also think we employed people tend to associate with people with the tendency to be employed. Ask yourself a similar question. How many retirees do you know? I don’t know many, but I am sure many exist.

      1. Not anymore! While some retirees are happily not working, many others are working and still others are unemployed! Financially, we may have to work until we are 65 or older but companies are increasingly trying to get rid of you or make you an offer you can’t refuse when you’re much younger. Get rid of the higher paid workers and bring in cheaper young ones or better yet, outsource!

  21. I can think of two people I know outside of work that were unemployed, and later found jobs, after receiving unemployment benefits. There was a round of layoffs, after 2008, at my workplace, and approximately 15 people were then unemployed, from a company with 250 employees.

    This is an interesting observation you make about unemployment. It is anecdotal because you are in a social class that is highly educated and high income earning, and you are likely to see lower unemployment numbers. If you ask someone with at most a high school diploma, then the answer may be different.

  22. “Perhaps we tend to hang out with other people who are more similar to ourselves?”

    Honestly, I think this is it. Like you, I don’t know that many that are unemployed, maybe just a couple (though I am a journalist, so just about everyone I know should qualify as underemployed!) but almost everyone I hang out with is a journalist, or is in the media, and I live in Toronto, which is a huge metropolis. There are lots of opportunities to work with mine and my friends’ skill sets. Probably every one of my friends has a Bachelor’s or higher, or is really driven and motivated to find work through other means. If you go just on that, it seems like there’s no unemployment at all.

    But that’s certainly not the case. I imagine there are a lot of communities in Canada and the U.S. where the job market isn’t so hot, and the average person isn’t quite so educated, or the educated person suddenly finds himself in a field where his skills are no longer worthy and then…unemployment. It’s a tricky one to nail in terms of numbers.

    Another thing to consider is that while it’s almost a given that anyone under the age of 35 or 40 has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, that is NOT the case for our parents’ generation, who have likely risen high within companies with nothing beyond a high school diploma. When they get laid off, they find their job prospects extremely limited because though they have experience, they lack that piece of paper. But then they’re even too experienced to get a job at McDonalds (McDs won’t hire them because they assume they’ll quit as soon as something better comes along). This is definitely one subset of people who are likely to stay unemployed for a longer period of time.

    1. You make a very good point about our parent’s generation and having a college education. That is a tough position to be in if you are laid off over 40 without a college degree and then are too qualified to work at a minimum wage job. Hmmmmm… that is very depressing.

      What about going back to school part-time and working part-time? Could be a good solution.

  23. I only know 1. My old boss was let go and he hadn’t found anything yet. Actually he is working for a friend’s start up now for no pay??? Have to catch up with the guy.
    My bro was unemployed in TX for over a year, then he moved to the bay area and found a job in less than a month…

    1. Wow… only 1? I’m assuming you know more than 11 people too yeah?

      Working at a start-up generally provides little to no pay… but a lot of equity perhaps! I work on a lot for little to no pay :)


  24. Yeh its weird. I’m at a firm in SF and we are hiring like crazy. We are actually having trouble finding enough qualified people.

  25. Took a look at a picture on my work desk, nine of my closest girlfriend’s at a wedding.

    Out of the nine, three are unemployed. Two by choice to go back to school full-time and one was laid off last month.

    So it’s either 11% (two left jobs by choice) or 33% unemployment depending on how you look at it!

    1. You definitely don’t count the two who quit by choice. They should be considered -2, as super emPloyed +1 who go let go = -1 = under 0%!

      But seriously, hope u know more than just 9 people!

  26. My friends vary from college students to grads to successful old friends.

    Most of my friends in college work summer jobs and I wouldn’t consider them in this.

    As for anyone that’s past 23 and done school.. Hmm I can’t even think of one that’s unemployed. Some hate their jobs but that’s a different story.

    I’m based in Toronto btw.

  27. Since my contemporaries are similar in age (60s), they are either retired or near retirement. Although I do not know them personally, there about 1,400 teachers who were laid off due to the budget cuts. This is in the Los Angeles area.

    1. If you don’t know them, unfortunately they don’t count bc we can all give examples of people gettig laid off ie I know 5,000 Bank of America employers who got laid off, but I don’t know them. Apples to oranges.

      We need the denominator in the equation.

  28. I don’t know any unemployed people either, though I do know a few under-employed people. But pretty much everyone I know was college-educated and I imagine many of the unemployed are not.

  29. Untemplater

    Right now I don’t know anyone who was let go and is still seeking work. I know about 3 people who voluntarily quit their jobs last year who haven’t found a job they want yet. One friend who was looking for a job in a new city while still working found a job after four months so that was good. -Sydney

  30. I’d be careful about blaming the “media” for freaking everyone out about the economy.

    That’s only because I said the same thing in 2008 during and after the election. And I WAS WORKING in the media. I did feel like we were hyping it up, and thought it was partly because of the election.

    But it turns out things really were pretty bad.

    The truth is – as unreliable as the mass media may seem – they don’t make numbers up. They get their information from govt data, predictions from economic experts, and numbers from national polls and surveys.

    I’d be willing to bet it’s a bit more accurate than just figuring out how many of your friends are looking for a job.

    A sampling of your personal friends is not necessarily a good sampling.

    From what I gather – you’re a pretty successful guy residing in one of the most expensive places to live in America (nothing wrong with that – congrats). But how many of your friends are blue-collar workers or are in industries like manufacturing or construction where there were major layoffs?

    If unemployment isn’t a problem – why does everyone and their mother agree that job creation is what this country needs to get things rolling?

    1. Can you do me a favor and just let me know how many of your friends and what percentage r unemployed? I’m trying to do a simple objective survey, but thx for your input.

      If you read my last paragraph, I believe mass layoffs r coming.

  31. It’s funny how the priviledged few who only associate w/ others of their kind believe the entire world is living in their world. Not everyone has college degrees b/c they grew up homeless or w/ parents who were not allowed to attend school. For those w/out masters/PHD the unemployment rate is much higher than 9%. There is a crisis for those of us not living at the top. For those like me who are not only disabled, but also ill w/ tumors or other conditions that they cannot afford to get treatment for. And they are also caring for elderly parents, w/ terminal illnesses, AND also caring for G-kids who are autistic/ and another who is deaf. We are surviving day by day w/out food, medication, & basics, ppl are dying. Of course the rich don’t see it. The rich and poor don’t live in the same areas, they don’t associate. And our country loves to blame poor ppl for being poor. It’s much easier than acknowledging that in many cases there are obstacles to keep ppl “in their place”. The wealthy can only see the world through very tinted, unbalanced lenses of their classist mentality.

    1. Hi Elissa, sorry for your condition. Do you think you and all the people around you are the majority or minority situation of Americans? Do you think just bc people have jobs, they are considered rich? Bc this is not a debate of rich and poor. This is a query on the unemployment level.

      Pls answer the question. Yes, the media says 91% of Americans r privileged. Sorry.

  32. Typically the unemployment rates are calculated based on people actively seeking employment so your friends would not count.

    As for me, maybe 1% of the people I know? But like Canadian Doomer my friends and family aren’t a likely demographic to be unemployed.

      1. Engineers, CS and hard science backgrounds.

        Like others, I’m not sure your readers are representative of the overall American population. However, it does say good things about you attracting successful people to your blog ;)

  33. The Money Grower

    Perhaps I can develop your prediction.

    Prediction: No more than 30% of all financial samurai readers will show that unemployment is 9% or higher


      1. The Money Grower

        Lol. Redundant no, specific yes.

        If you suscribe to the theory that people hang around in similar circles to their own, ‘if you want to be rich, mingle with rich people’ then it would follow that the majority of the people who read this blog are in a similar circumstance and hold similar values to you – or aspire to being like you.

        I read your blog because I like your investment stuff and it is of personal interest to me. I don’t read perez hilton’s blog because celebrity gossip doesn’t interest me.

        Therefore people who read this blog are unlikely to be long term unemployed (I assume because they want to read about finance and investment).

        It would follow that you will get a representative sample of your FS readers and not a representative sample of the US.

        Of course you know this already because there are plenty of government figures you could look at if you wanted a whole US representative cycle.

        I like you because you throw a curve ball every so often which keeps readers, like me, on their feet and enjoying your blog.

        Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to clear up confusion. :-)

      2. The Money Grower

        Ah Sam,

        I see I must have read your prediction wrong earlier. ;-) and my text now appears stupid. In addition, my reply to your redundancy text seems to have disappeared.

        Perhaps you would like to delete my reply entirely.


        1. Eh? Still not following you. But, that’s cool.

          This is kinda the point of the article. Why do we blatantly listen to whatever the government spews out? We should open our eyes and believe what we see.

  34. Canadian Doomer

    I’m in Canada and I think we have a lower unemployment rate than you do. However, about half of the people I know are either unemployed, underemployed or they’ve given up looking.

    On the other hand, I doubt that most of the people I know even have “just” a Bachelors degree.

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