Unfortunately, our highest unemployment reached 9.9% in the spring of 2009, however, it hovered around that percentage back in the early 1980’s when we were in the midst of an oil/gas crisis and another period of economic uncertainty….Many people like to state that a political party in power has a great deal to do with the employability of Americans but the causation is much more global. The political party in power may have an impact on employment based on treaties that are signed and the philosophy of the members of the party. I really like to believe that even when I condemn my opposing political party’s policies, the basic tenets of the party is for ‘full’ employment…I have to believe that….
Now, what exactly is ‘full’ employment? It use to be basically the number of individuals in a given society that are willing and available to work. This would not include those incarcerated (of which, the United States has way, way too many) or those disabled or infirmed. Many economists estimate that our ‘true’ or ‘full’ unemployment rate will rest around 4%....some economists think it may be as high as 5% (which means we are ‘there’). Full or true employment is really those wanting to work at full time employment and are not able to do so.
***U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force
***U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force
***U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate)
***U-4 Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers
***U-5 Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
***U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
NOTE: Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) has a seasonally adjusted breakdown for Unemployment Rates for each Unemployment category for each month since October 2014. To see the actual breakdown for the period of October 2015, please click the following link:
Looking at a U-6 9.8% unemployment rate so far removed from the actual recession is a little troubling and an evaluation needs to be made as to how many people in that 9.8% really want to be working full time and are not able to find satisfying work or, in instances, any work at all.
The real key is to have as many individuals working as who want to work doing what they want to be doing for a living and making enough money to cover their basic needs. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? So, before we shout about how great the 5% is, let’s look at what is in the 5% (the U-3 reported rate) and let’s look at how many people need and want a better job and a better/higher standard of living.
If you have any questions regarding unemployment rates, unemployment compensation and how the unemployment rate is affecting you or your business, please contact Rosanne Bennett at 484-798-1236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org