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.
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.