The Shitty Numbers

I don’t believe the numbers.

They can easily be manipulated to suit an agenda.   And they never tell the whole story – the human story – not by a long shot.

Unemployment figures are a good case in point.  Recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts my home state (New Mexico) at a relatively healthy unemployment rate of 6.7%.   Nevada pulls up the rear with 11.6%.

I don’t believe these figures for a moment.  Commonsense and simple observation on the street tells me the unemployment rate is much higher in New Mexico.  I bet the same is true in Nevada.

The global picture isn’t very bright either; and I wouldn’t be surprised if unemployment (and underemployment) is much higher than the data suggests.

The CIA’s estimates:  Israel  5.6%, U.S.  9.0%, West Bank  23.5%, and the Gaza Strip  40%.

The World Bank estimates:  Israel 6.6%,  U.S.  9.6%,  West Bank & Gaza = 24.5%

UNRWA noted that unemployment in Gaza reached 45% last year.  It’s probably higher today.

The United Nations predicts global unemployment will continue to rise, with young people being hit the hardest.

World unemployment – darker shades represent higher unemployment

Can’t trust the numbers – nope – but a picture is worth ten thousand words.   Is there any doubt what sparked the Arab Spring last year?

The numbers don’t share the feeling of desperation when college graduates can’t find a job.   In the U.S., mobility is an option for some.  Pack up and go where the jobs are.

In Gaza, there is nowhere to go, especially if you are a young man.   Israel’s blockade is tighter than Alcatraz.

Alcatraz Prison

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