Final Word from Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Every country fakes its unemployment figures in its own way. Take the U.S., where the official jobless rate is now 7.7% but doesn't include many people who have dropped out of the workforce. A broader measurement, called U6, puts the figure at 14.4%. In calculating its 10.7% rate for the EU-27 in Oct., Eurostat only counts those who have actively sought employment in the past four weeks. In the CR, the labor ministry is moving to a new methodology that lowers the rate for Nov. from 8.7% to 6.8% but doesn't create any new jobs. Neither figure takes into account the 76,563 people who took early retirement last year or the higher number expected to do so this year. Many of them do it instead of going on the dole. Kalousek and Nečas don't bother to mention this when they boast that the CR's unemployment rate is lower than Poland's. According to the OECD, Poland doesn't even offer early retirement.[Czech Republic European Union statistical office]

Glossary of difficult words

to fudge (a number) - to adjust, manipulate or misrepresent;

the dole - (chiefly British) unemployment benefits; welfare.

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