HARFOLD, Vermont--The Center for Labor Statistics, a local think tank of three guys with high school degrees, sat down at Ms. Harfold Diner on all-the-fish-you-can-eat Friday for a discussion of the current unemployment rate as Labor Day roles around the corner.
Among those who won't be working on Monday are public and private school employees, government workers, bank employees and the unemployed.
People without a job can boast the greatest number of people enjoying the day off. At 14 million strong, they far outweigh the the number of educators (7.2 million) and Federal employees (2.1 million) who will be enjoying family time.
Steven Canter squeezed the numbers into bite-sized pieces: "If you're gonna have a party on Labor Day, are you gonna want to be one of seven people, of two people or all by yourself? You're gonna want to be one of those seven people, even if you don't have an income to buy any beer."
The three guys came up with the following tips for unemployed Americans:
* Don't move to Nevada--With a 13.7% unemployment rate, the Silver State comes in at about four points higher than the national rate. "You got about as good a chance," said thinktanker Stanley Smith, "of selling a house in Nevada than you do getting a job!"
* Don't move to Nauru--This tiny country in Oceania sports a jobless rate of 90%. Yes, that's one job for every 10 people who want one. "Granted," says Billy Tomkins, "they don't even have 10,000 people on the whole island, so it's not like we're losing sleep over it."
* Stay away from loser industries. Said Kanter, "If someone tries to talk you into starting up a video rental store, textile mill, print newspaper, clothing factory, or photo developer, tell them to go to hell.
"This is the U.S., baby! You can still be anything you want to be. You just won't make any money at it."