The Real Labor Rate

by Nicholas Wells  |  published on February 5, 2016

The Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in January, the lowest since February 2008. But does that tell the whole story?

Most economists look past the main unemployment number (also known as the “U-3”) to other metrics that provide more perspectives on the economy. On jobs day, the Labor Department releases a slew of data, each of which says something different about the state of jobs and wages.

One of those figures is the U-6 rate.

While the U-3 rate measures all unemployed workers as a percent of the civilian labor force, the U-6 includes more. It’s defined as all unemployed as well as “persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons” plus all marginally attached workers, as a percentage of the labor force.

That means the rate for the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged remains stubbornly above prerecession levels.

  • parthenon1

    If there was a requirement that people getting public assistance $ should have to do something to help themselves regardless of how little it is. Teen age children must be in school and making reasonable progress toward a diploma so they can gain skills that can get them into the work force. In fact (as the Bible states) only widows and orphans need to be helped able bodied people must do some kind of work. We absolutely must eliminate generation after generation being on welfare, with teen age girls rushing to have babies to get dependent children payments, with young boys and some girls going into drug distribution. We are going to see the US into early ’30’s style depression with serious deflation of the dollar. Those savers who have little to no debt will be the winners and those with large debts will be wiped out. We will see this malady happen within months maybe not even a year from now. Blame goes to Obama and the massive national debt.

  • used_to_be_a_liberal

    Who in their right mind can believe anything that comes from the W H.
    94 million Americans unemployed, on some sort of social service, and “they” want us to believe their numbers, hog, wash and bull manure.

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