Mint corrects U.S. unemployment statistics

Matt Bowman · December 4, 2009 · Short URL:

In a superb marketing move, says the *real* jobless rate in October was 17.2%

Mint is ambitious. It's already replaced Intuit's personal finance division, and now it's taking on the United States Department of Labor.

In the depressingly humorous cartoon below, Mint blasts the official U.S. Department of Labor, which reported the unemployment rate today as 10%. The company suggests a more accurate jobless rate would include folks marginally in the employment market, those who have given recently given up, and those looking for full-time, but who have only found part-time work, which would bring the figure to 17.2%

Of course, the 17.2% figure also comes from the Department of Labor (not Mint). The company is merely taking someone else's complicated financial data and putting it in understandable terms--essentially the same service it's core product provides (which makes this gimmick a damn good piece of marketing). Because trending requires using the same stats month after month,neither the Department of Labor nor major media sites will ever switch to the grimmer-looking figures that include discouraged workers when it announces unemployment rates. The real story here is Mint's communications department. It's blog is chalk-full of useful financial info that is not only easy, but fun to read. Many company blogs are informal like Mint's but they miss the more important part--useful and fun. PR folks and CMOs should take note. This is what a corporate blog should be like.



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