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In most states unemployment is based on what you earned over your base year - up to a certain amount. Every state sets its own maximum, based on that state's average income. “The average unemployment insurance benefit is $292 a week according to the Department of Labor.” That’s $1168/ month.
“The government spent a record $14.7Bn on unemployment benefits in December” according to BLS reports.
In the most recent BLS employment report: “In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged.” 


If this isn’t smoke and mirrors I don’t know what is. That’s a 2.8 million difference using the same BLS figures. Maybe the gov is getting unemployment funding from Greece. This is real unemployment calculated using US gov figures. 
Can the BLS be relied upon to give us an accurate picture of the employment rate when they continually modify their own way of calculating unemployment? When sampling data is modified on a monthly basis in calculating unemployment; comparisons between months and quarters becomes difficult. I doubt even the BLS knows any more, how may people are actually unemployed.   Or, the total cost of unemployment is being under-reported by, $3.27 billion.

Disclosure: none