JOKE – Abbott and Costello do Unemployment

Pic by Don Bobbitt
 
So how can over 873,000 people come off the unemployment rolls when there were only a little over 114,000 jobs created? 
Below is a transcript of a conversation between two eminent economists discussing this very question! 


COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in  America . 

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 7.8%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.

COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.

ABBOTT: 7.8% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 7.8% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 14.7% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 7.8%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 7.8% or 14.7%?

ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, the White House said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the  unemployed.You  have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who  look for work.  It wouldn’t be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if   you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles that would count as less
unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down.
Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for
work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down.
That’s how they get it to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%. The resident  doesn’t want you to read about 14.7% unemployment.

COSTELLO:
That would be tough on those Democrats running for reelection.
ABBOTT:
Absolutely.
COSTELLO:
Wait, I got a question for you.
That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number? 

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a  job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of  the two is to have people stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an Economist.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Congress

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