Official unemployment rate? 9.4 percent. Total rate? 16.7 percent.(Read article summary)
When the government counts 'marginally attached' and 'underutilized' workers, America's unemployment rate nearly doubles.
Todayâ€™s Employment Situation report showed that in December â€śtotal unemploymentâ€ť including all marginally attached workers declined to 16.7% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate declined to 9.4%.
The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of â€śunemployedâ€ť (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively â€śon the marginâ€ť either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers â€śmarginally attachedâ€ť workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employment to be â€śunderutilizedâ€ť labor.
The broadest view of unemployment would include both traditionally unemployed workers and all other underutilized workers.
To calculate the â€śtotalâ€ť rate of unemployment we would simply use this larger group rather than the smaller and more restrictive â€śunemployedâ€ť group used in the traditional unemployment rate calculation.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.