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Jobless Rate Actually Stands at 11.5%: Roach

CNBC
March 8, 2010

The true unemployment rate in the United States is actually higher than we think — at 11.5 percent, said Stephen Roach, Asia chairman of Morgan Stanley.

“The (official) unemployment rate at 9.7 percent is distorted downwards by at least 3 million people who have simply given up looking for work and who have effectively taken themselves out of the work force for economic reasons,” Roach said on CNBC.

“For some bizarre reason, the U.S. statisticians do not count these poor souls as unemployed. If you add them back in, the unemployment rate isn’t 9.7 percent. It’s 11.5 percent,” he said.

U.S. employers cut a smaller than expected 36,000 jobs in February, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 9.7 percent. The data sent global markets higher on hopes the labor market was on the brink of creating jobs.

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