Kendall Harmon—The Case for Perspective on Employment/The Labor Market—Watch U-6 Carefully

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U6 unemployment rate tabulates not only people without work who are seeking full-time employment but also counts "marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons."

Now, study this graph of U-6 at the top and look carefully at the other numbers. What do you see? Seasonally adjusted U-6 unemployment is now [for January 2012] at 15.1%. In January 2011 it was 16.1% and in January 2010 it was 16.7%.

Good news--we are moving the right direction. But bad news--to get back even to 2007 levels [in the 8% range] there is a LONG, LONG way to go!

Those of you who are data hounds (like yours truly) will appreciate the table here--KSH

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. Government

Posted February 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

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1. Don C wrote:

Thanks, Canon Harmon.

Rick Santelli pointed out the low labor force participation rate on CNBC here

February 3, 8:52 pm | [comment link]
2. APB wrote:

Funny how during the previous administration, even the slightest blemish on good news became the lede.  Now, for some reason, even deep rot is ignored as nitpicking.

February 4, 8:36 am | [comment link]
3. Second Citizen wrote:

I think we can all count on the MSM to support the current POTUS. Not a surprise.

February 4, 11:12 am | [comment link]
4. Alta Californian wrote:

Headline: Unemployment rate falls, Conservatives outraged!

February 4, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
5. Katherine wrote:

It didn’t really fall, Alta CA.  They just stopped counting some people.

February 4, 7:43 pm | [comment link]
6. Kendall Harmon wrote:

It is important that the truth is not avoided here—the labor market is improving (finally).  Whether the trend continues is still up in the air, number one, and, number two, it isn’t nearly the level of improvement that a number of people suggested in their comments and analyses yesterday and today.  No matter what, we have to make enormous strides just to get back to the level of employment we were at before the Great Recession began.

February 4, 8:26 pm | [comment link]

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com

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