Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Americans Need to Understand the Total Picture on Jobs Figures

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Americans Need to Understand the Total Picture on Jobs Figures

Article excerpt

The Feb. 10 Post-Gazette stated that the number of unfilled jobs in December rose to 5.61 million - second highest on record ("Job Openings in U.S. Rise to 2nd-Highest Level on Record," Business briefs).

At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that some 94 million Americans over the age of 16 are not working.

This figure represents a labor participation rate of just 62.6 percent - the lowest in decades.

What I don't understand is how the overall unemployment rate stands at 4.9 percent. Ifind that the BLS reports two separate unemployment rates - U1 and U6. U1 is the widely reported 4.9 percent, while U6 is hardly ever mentioned. The BLS website definesU6 as "total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time as a percent of the civilian labor force. …

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