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To my way of thinking that sort of changing of the rules is a relevant structural change, so my point stands. In any case, those people should show up as unemployed in house-hold surveys if they're looking for jobs. But unemployment stats certainly have highly limited uses - they're really only short-term measures.

Employment rates have their own problems, but they're useful as a spectrum of measures that tell you something about the labour market.
Is the higher US employment rate among older workers a good thing or a bad thing? Why? Is taking early retirement inherently a bad thing?

Employment is ill-defined as well: when is someone considered employed?

There is no single statistic that allows us to carry out comparisons between differently structured local economies.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 08:48:45 AM EST
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I'm not arguing with you that a single statistic will describe the market.

And I already said on ET what age/sex/hour worked/self-or-employee/public-private employment:population table I consider minimal to have an honest picture (this table is available to professional but not to the public AFAIK).

I'm just saying that unemployment stat is currently totally useless in OECD countries at least.

Employment can be cheated by saying "self-employed", but there's vastly less incentive (= none) to do so.

And as Dean said, I'm feeling less and less alone here.

by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 09:54:36 AM EST
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Oh, I don't think you're arguing: I just can't help pontificating.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 10:02:59 AM EST
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Jobs are so "last century"...

Where exactly does the growing band of "self-employed" sit in all of this?

Certainly in Scotland we see a major statistical "black hole" in this area which I refer to as "micro-enterprise".

Networks of "self-employed", and maybe the re-emergence of something not a million miles away from "guilds" is what I see on the horizon...

It leads to what Marx called the "Abolition of Labour" ie people working WITH people rather than FOR them.

 

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 10:03:38 AM EST
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Self-employed receive no state aid from their status, so they don't have any real incentive to falsify their status in a confidential poll (of course for their CV and relatives that's something else :), so they don't present any source of problem for employment statistics.

As I said when ET did talk about cooperative, we have zero data or studies on cooperative (small and big) vs current "normal" corporations.

Even something as simple as the share of value-added or number of employees is not available AFAIK.

by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 12:34:01 PM EST
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