NEW YORK, March 9 The U.S. unemployment rate
would be 19.1 percent, close to the level during the Great
Depression, using the methodology that prevailed 80 years ago,
according to Shadowstats.com.
According to the official Labor Department figures, the
jobless rate jumped to a 25-year high of 8.1 percent in
However, John Williams, from ShadowStats, argues that
measurement changes implemented over the years make it
impossible to compare the current unemployment rate with that
seen during the Great Depression, when unemployment peaked at
"Such would be my best estimate of a rate that would be
comparable to the Great Depression readings," said Williams of
the 19.1 percent reading.
Still, he noted that the Depression peak itself may have
been underestimated because it was restricted to "non-farm"
payrolls at a time when agricultural labor still represented
more than a quarter of the economy.
(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Tom Hals)