- The official US unemployment rate hovers around 8.6 percent (8.5 % as of today), but a better measure of the real jobless rate is called the “U-6” which stands at 15.6 percent (15.2 percent as of today). The U-6 rate includes those that would still like a job and have looked for work in the last twelve months, not just the last four weeks. That means the number of Americans hurt by the bad economy is almost twice what the official number would suggest.
- In fact, the official rate excludes workers who have decided to drop out of the labor market altogether -- either because they are discouraged or for other reasons -- and also ignores workers who settle for part-time work because they are unable to find a full-time job.
- Currently more than 5.6 million Americans, or an astounding 43 percent of all unemployed have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. The tremendous increase in long-term unemployment is one factor driving the unprecedented disparity between the official measure of unemployment and the alternative measure (U-6). Long-term unemployment has a damaging psychological impact on workers' willingness to keep searching for work and motivates them to accept part-time work.
- As bad policy from Washington forces businesses to seek flexibility, the chasm between the U-6 and official unemployment rates may become a permanent fixture of the economic landscape.
What's new on AEI
|AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters|
|A nation divided by marriage|
|Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing|
Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.
Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.
Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.
Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.
Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).