“Are illegal immigrants counted in unemployment statistics?  And if you don’t know, how would you find out?” a friend emailed.  Well, I don’t know.  I assume the unemployment number is a government figure derived from papers otherwise filed by employers or employees, so illegal workers would not be counted — unless government workers devised a way to estimate the unpapered workers.  But if they estimate, how do they arrive at the estimate?


Fig. 52.  Shadow World of Tenants Harbor?

Again I don’t know the answer, but I figure their estimate (and my willingness to accept it) could only be as good as their (and my) understanding the shadow worlds of people who want to hide.   Again my lack of knowing is noteworthy.  A good place to start learning about the “unnoticed” is to read any or all of the Jane Whitefield novels by Thomas Perry.  His latest, Runners, is still in hardcover so Roseledge Books won’t have it this summer, but I’ve read and liked and will try to get Thomas Perry’s earlier paperbacks, Vanishing Act or Shadow Woman.

Addendum: I heard someone on public radio say that the unemployment figure comes from a survey done by the US Census Bureau, so maybe I was wrong — again — about the derivation of the estimate, but not about the need for understanding the shadow worlds.  Sigh.  I can just see my epitaph: She never knew the answer, but she always had a good book to recommend.

I just finished Julia Spencer-Fleming’s latest Russ Van Alstyne and Clare Fergusson mystery in paperback, I Shall Not Want, and a pertinent subplot was the plight of the unnoticed migrant workers.  I like this series a lot, and not just because the author lives in Maine and mentioned the Rockland Public Library in her latest “Acknowledgements,” although those are pluses.  The six mysteries (so far) may be replacing Lee Child’s Jack Reacher mysteries as my favorite series, but I haven’t read the latest Reacher paperback, Nothing to Lose, though I have it at hand.

Memorial Day is early this year, two weeks from next Monday.  I know it’s time to be in Tenants Harbor (yea!) when a public television show about the sea fauna of Mull (west coast of Scotland) is entrancing and I read every word of the latest W.R. Grace court ruling in a Montana asbestos case.  (W. R. Grace married Lilius Gilchrist in the second house down the hill from Roseledge.  Tenants Harbor has a new, better-than-ever Grace Institute house in her honor.)  Charlie and I will be there in time for the parade, and Roseledge Books will be open, from 2-6 pm.  I can hardly wait.


Fig. 53.  Reminder to fix “wintered” Roseledge Books sign on the tree at the corner.

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