A short gig doing security for the True Blood television show. A stint driving for a rental car company. A week as a customer service representative at a retail store.
This is how Delvontaie Antwine, 34, makes do in California’s economic recovery — earning a few scattered paychecks a month from odd temp jobs while living with relatives in Silver Lake.
Each week, he goes to a career center, where recently he was looking into positions transporting patients for Kaiser Permanente.
“I just need something consistent; otherwise, I’m like a puppy chasing its tail,” he said. “I’m at the bottom of the totem pole right now.”
It’s a purgatory sometimes called the gray economy. Although the official state unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% in June, 16.2% of Californians — or about 6.2 million — were either jobless, too discouraged to seek work, working less than they’d like or in off-the-books jobs.
The unemployment rate isn’t measured. It’s polled. What you read in the newspapers is determined by an arcane combination of the establishment survey (polling businesses), the household survey (polling households), and guesstimation. I have complained many times in the past that the fudge factors introduced in the guesstimation process are so much larger than the numbers actually polled that they strain credulity.
This article highlights how the nature of employment today may have rendered the establishment survey incredible if not irrelevant.