Unemployment rates

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.

DOUG ROYER

Santa Rosa

Shelters for Pawnee fire evacuees

Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake St., Lower Lake, is the official shelter established for people evacuating from the Pawnee fire. It is equipped to handle animals.

The Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge, 15900 E. Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks, is not authorized by the Office of Emergency Services but is also sheltering fire evacuees, mostly people in campers and RVs who want their animals with them.

There is an authorized Lake County animal services station in an open field at Highway 53 and Anderson Ridge Road in Lower Lake.