H/T Fast Eddie G.US Dept of labor statistics as reported by Abbott and CostelloCostello: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.Abbott: Good subject, terrible times, it's 9%.Costello: That many people are out of work.Abbott: No that's 17%.Costello: You just said 9%.Abbott: 9% unemployed.Costello: Right 9% out of work.Abbott: No that's 17%.Costello: Okay so it's 17% unemployed?Abbott: No that's 9%.Costello: Wait a minute, is it 9% or 17%?Abbott: 9% are unemployed. 17% are out of work.Costello: If you're out of work you are unemployed.Abbott: No you can't count the out-of-work as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.Costello: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!Abbott: No, you miss the point.Costello: What point?Abbott: Some one who doesn't look for work can't be counted with those who look for work, it wouldn't be fair.Costello: To who?Abbott: The Unemployed.Costello: But they are all out of work.Abbott: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work … those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up, and if you give up you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.Costello: So if you're off the unemployment role, that would count as less unemployment?Abbott: Unemployment would go down, Absolutely!Costello: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?Abbott: Absolutely it goes down that's how you get 9%, otherwise it would be 17%. You don't want to read about 17% unemployment do ya?Costello: That would be frightening.Abbott: Absolutely.Costello: Wait, I got a question for you, that means that they're two ways to bring down the unemployment number?Abbott: Two ways is correct.Costello: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?Abbott: Correct.Costello: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?Abbott: Bingo.Costello: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.Abbott: Now you're thinking like an economist.