Ignore so-called Unemployment “statistics”. Labor force participation rate is higher In Sweden than the US

2016 January 1
by Daniel Lakeland

This washington post article talks about how the US has “Scandimania” where people are perhaps overlooking problems and talking about how great it would be to be more like Sweden and Denmark etc.

One of the points made was: “unemployment is 5.6 percent in the United States, vs. 8.1 percent in Sweden, 8.9 percent in Finland and 6.4 percent in Denmark”

Well, let me tell you, Unemployment is a totally and utterly BOGUS number. Labor Force Participation Rate however, is very straightforward, what fraction of the people over 15 years old are employed? Turns out the World Bank will happily plot this for you.

Data from World Bank

Note, that Sweden is higher than the US, and Denmark is essentially the same. Finland has consistently been 4 or 5 percentage points lower than the US.

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