First let’s be clear about this.

“Unemployment” does not refer to people too lazy to work or to the losers who have failed to secure an available job.

What unemployment means is that there are no available jobs. It means that X number of people are being denied work. The unemployed are not those who refuse work, or who do not seek work, or even those with poor “job-seeking” skills. The unemployed are that percentage of the population whose right to earn a living is being denied to them. The 7 percent or so unemployment rate we have had in the years following the crisis year of the Great Recession refers to the percentage of the work-force for which no jobs exist to seek, to find or to fill.

This is why the better measure of unemployment is the ratio of job-seekers to job openings. That ratio has not sunk below 3 to 1 since the Great Recession. That means that if in a single miraculous instant, every mismatch of geography, skill-set and pay-scale were met and every job opening were filled at once, then two-thirds of our unemployed would remain unemployed. And at that point there would be no reason for any of them to send out résumés, brush up on their interview skills, or do any of that other victim-blaming make-work we expect them to do, unpaid, until such time as someone deigns to allow them to earn a living again.

I prefer that ratio as a measurement of unemployment because it proves — proves — that all of the moralizing lectures levied at the unemployed are cruel and absurd. —

Unemployment is ‘evil,’ the ‘opposite of just’ and ‘a real social disaster’

Everyone must read this.

(via brutereason)

Neil Bruder @neilbruder