Most people don’t care about statistics, and how numbers are calculated. What we all remember about stats is a final number. Case in point. The September 11th attack. Some people still remember that 50,000 were killed. Estimates came in at the time around 11,000 to 14,000. Even more people remember that around 5,000 were killed. The official casuality total was 2,974. (source. wikipedia) Bad, but not nearly as bad as what most people thought, or still think.
So, when you see that the unemployment rate is 7.2%, and you hear that the unemployment rate during the depression was 25%, you come to the quick conclussion that everything is OK. Or, have you not been given all the information? Here is a picture mapping out the contradictions on unemployment rates.
Ya, we’re fucked!