More economics from the trenches

Gordon Mohr
Mon, 29 Apr 2002 23:12:44 -0500

Adam Beberg writes:
> The Paychex CEO was on CNBC today, this is the company that actually prints
> the paychecks for 375,000 companies. So you could say they know exactly how
> many people are working and how much they are making for a significant chunk
> of the economy. Basicly, same-company # of paychecks is down about 4.6%, but
> more importantly shows no signs at all of leveling out. So basicly the guy
> in the trenches with hard numbers says things are still getting worse,
> people are still losing jobs. Finally someone saying what people are seeing.

Maybe the new jobs are not occurring at Paychex's customer 
companies? Or Paychex is garnering more new customers at the
low end of the same-company paycheck count than at the high 

Who's seeing things getting worse? Some regions and industries 
have hardly felt a recession at all. It sucks to be tech, and
bay area, sure, but your localized and anecdotal experience is 
not generalizable.

> The government numbers paint a recovery picture of course, but once you run
> out of unemployment, you officially become "not looking for work", and dont
> count anymore. If everyone lost their job today, unemployemnt would be
> 100% for 6 months, then in 6 months +1 day unemployment would be 0%.

Totally untrue!

The popularly reported unemployment rate is derived from a household 
survey, not the claims for unemployment compensation.

Also, it is currently possible to get another 13 weeks (~3 months) of 
unemployment compensation, beyond the usual maximum of 26 weeks (~6 

- Gordon