William Dickens, how­ever, is not one of them. “I have a lot of prob­lems with that.”

Dickens is a dis­tin­guished pro­fessor of eco­nomics at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston, who has written and researched exten­sively into the causes and effects of unem­ploy­ment. “Before the reces­sion, (full employ­ment) was typ­i­cally esti­mated to be in the range of 4 to 6%. Since the reces­sion, there are indi­ca­tions that number may have gone up. My own esti­mates sug­gest it is some­where between 5 and per­haps a little bit over 6% now, although nowhere near 7 or 7½%.”

The ways in which those num­bers can change are com­pli­cated. Imagine a chalk­board filled with elab­o­rate, baf­fling equa­tions and you’ll get the gist even if you don’t get the picture.

Read the article at CNN →