Audit Notes: U6 Hits 17.1 Percent, Facebook, “Inside Job”

Unemployment seems bad enough when you look at the headlines talking about 9.6 percent. But here’s a headline at the Daily Kos that shows a different degree of awfulness.

Crunch. Another rotten jobs report. U6 surges to 17.1%

Leave aside the “Crunch. Another rotten jobs report” part and just look at the last part. The rate of Americans who want full-time work and don’t have it is 17.1 percent. That’s up from 16.1 percent a year ago.

The press needs to focus on this as well as the headline U3 number.

— I’ve been pretty hard on Facebook and its anti-privacy moves, noting repeatedly that it is abusing its network effect to take advantage of its users.

So I’ll be the first to say this is a mighty big move on the part of Zuckerberg & Co. It unveiled a new feature that will let users download all the information on their profile. The Financial Times:

The feature, called “Download your Information,” will deliver users a “.zip” file with all the photos, status updates and other information they have put up on the site. It will also include a list of a user’s friends.

That’s a significant concession and a real move toward giving users control over their information.

— A.O. Scott, in a review of the new financial-crisis documentary “Inside Job” (emphasis mine):

“Inside Job,” a sleek, briskly paced film whose title suggests a heist movie, is the story of a crime without punishment, of an outrage that has so far largely escaped legal sanction and societal stigma.

That about sums up one of the big reasons we’re seeing such an outpouring of anger these days. Scott gets at that:

This call to arms makes you wonder why anger of the kind so eloquently expressed in “Inside Job” has been so inchoate. And through no fault of its own, the film may leave you dispirited as well as enraged. Its fate is likely to be that of other documentaries: praised in some quarters, nitpicked in others and shrugged off by those who need its message most. Which is a shame.

The movie opens tonight in New York and elsewhere next Friday and has gotten almost universally good reviews. Go see it for me since it looks like nobody in Seattle will be showing it.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.