Abbot and Costello explain Obama’s unemployment figures.

H/T Fast Eddie G.
US Dept of labor statistics as reported by Abbott and Costello
 
                  Costello:  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.

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