How do jobs numbers work?

Rob Green/Bergman Group

Article Highlights

  • If life were simple, net #jobs gained and #unemployment rate would move in lockstep

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  • Unemployment rate does not account for those who are underemployed

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  • How do jobs numbers work?

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Americans are intensely interested in the state of the job market but trying to get a good sense of it recalls the story of the blind men describing an elephant by feeling it. The description depends on which part is felt. Without attempting a tusk-to-tail description of job statistics, here is a rough guide to the much-discussed numbers.

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Philip I.
Levy

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