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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Germany's Unemployment Rate is 5.3 Percent not 7.4 Percent

Germany's Unemployment Rate is 5.3 Percent not 7.4 Percent

Friday, 15 February 2013 17:57

For some reason the NYT keeps using the official German unemployment rate in its coverage of Germany's economy rather than the OECD harmonized rate. The official German rate includes workers who are involuntarily working part-time. By contrast, the OECD essentially uses the same methodology as the United States.

Therefore the NYT badly misled readers when it reported that Germany's unemployment rate is 7.4 percent. The OECD harmonized unemployment rate in Germany is 5.3 percent.

Comments (6)Add Comment
written by James, February 15, 2013 5:52
All media esp. newspapers & TV all use various ways to frame the story to their angle. So, if they want to say Germany is failing, then would use 7.4%.
Minimum wage and Productivity
written by A Populist, February 15, 2013 7:52
The linked article states that minimum wages tend not to address "increasing productivity".

On the contrary - in the absence of increased demand, won't increased productivity actually increase unemployment?

Also, doesn't cheap labor decrease the incentive to increase productivity? (The incentive, of course, being to reduce labor costs).
written by urban legend, February 15, 2013 9:02
Why can't you demand that they do it right, Dean? Maybe a letter from, say, 20 prominent economists? It's a pure matter of fact; there's no room for reasonable disagreement on this.
written by Ben Harnke, February 15, 2013 10:04
Dean forgot to write "#45,675" in the title to this post.
written by Chris Engel, February 15, 2013 11:49
This is a good catch and I'm glad you keep bringing it up.

I've made this mistake in my own work in the past and it's something a lot of entry-level guys do without knowing the inconsistencies across methodologies around the world.
written by watermelonpunch, February 16, 2013 12:50
Good gravy, the last post on this same issue was just a month ago.
They need help or something.
@urban legend - start a petition. ;)

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.