EDITOR: A recent article stated unemployment in Sonoma County had fallen to 5.7 percent implying that we're on the road to a real recovery ("Economy, job growth outpacing rest of U.S.," Jan. 25). It's unfortunate that many buy into this propaganda and don't research how this number is calculated.
This is a sales job and a cover-up of the bleak job situation that exists in this country. The number is derived by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, using the U-3 measurement, which it defines as the total unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force.
While this number has gone down, don't be fooled into thinking more people are working and the job picture is rosier. The U-3 figure only includes those who have been actively looking for work in the past four weeks. What many people don't understand is that unemployment rates do not officially include people who are no longer looking for work because they have given up.
A better measurement is the U-6 category, which is currently at 13 percent. However, even this rate doesn't include those career welfare seekers who should be working. The real unemployment rate is above 30 percent, all things considered.
Victims identified in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino fires
Karen Aycock, 56, Santa Rosa
Christina Hanson, 27, Santa Rosa
Linda Tunis, 69, Santa Rosa
Carol Collins-Swasey, 76, Santa Rosa
Lynne Anderson Powell, 72, Santa Rosa
Arthur Tasman Grant, 95, Santa Rosa
Suiko Grant, 75, Santa Rosa
Donna Mae Halbur, 80, Larkfield
Leroy Peter Halbur, 80, Larkfield
Valerie Lynn Evans, 75, Santa Rosa
Carmen Caldentey Berriz, 75, Apple Valley (vacationing in Santa Rosa)
Michael John Dornbach, 57, rural Calistoga
Veronica Elizabeth McCombs, 67, Santa Rosa
Carmen Colleen McReynolds, 82, Santa Rosa
Sharon Rae Robinson, 79, Santa Rosa
Mike Grabow, 40, Santa Rosa
Daniel Martin Southard, 71, Santa Rosa
Lee Chadwick Roger, 72, Glen Ellen
Roy Howard Bowman, 87, Redwood Valley
Irma Elsie Bowman, 88, Redwood Valley
Kai Logan Shepherd, 14, Redwood Valley
George Chaney, 89, Napa
Edward Stone, 79, Napa
Charles Rippey, 100, Napa
Sara Rippey, 98, Napa
Sally Lewis, 90, Napa
Teresa Santos, 50, Napa
Garrett Paiz, 38, Missouri