Unemployment Statistics Can Be Read Many Ways; A Multitude of Factors Contributes to Who Is Labeled as Jobless

By Bull, Roger | The Florida Times Union, May 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

Unemployment Statistics Can Be Read Many Ways; A Multitude of Factors Contributes to Who Is Labeled as Jobless


Bull, Roger, The Florida Times Union


Byline: ROGER BULL

When the national unemployment figures came out a few weeks ago, the news was that the rate had risen, from 9.7 to 9.9 percent for April.

Four years of steadily rising unemployment had been followed by several recent months of decrease or holding steady. Now it is up.

But, wait a minute, this increase was announced as good news. Close to 300,000 jobs had been created. And what that slight increase meant was that people who had given up looking for a job were now encouraged by the economy, and they were looking again - and driving up the "unemployed" number.

The national labor force, those actually available for work, grew by 805,000 people in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In other words, they didn't start to count as unemployed until they started looking for work. What gives?

Getting a good read on the unemployment situation is complicated by many issues: Those looking for work, those not looking, contract workers, part-time workers, underemployed. On top of that, the percent of working-age adults who don't consider themselves in the labor force had dropped by December to a 25-year low, though it's started to creep back up.

One thing is clear: The percentage of people out of work is always higher - much higher - than reported in the most often quoted numbers.

"First of all, the trouble with the federal government figures is that they're always trying to spin as they put them out," said Candace Moody, vice president of communications for WorkSource.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases six unemployment figures each month:

- U1: Percentage unemployed 15 weeks or longer as a percent of the civilian labor force.

- U2: Percentage of labor force who lost jobs or completed temporary work.

- U3: Unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force.

- U4: U3 plus "discouraged workers" who have stopped looking for work because they believe they won't find a job.

- U5: U4 plus other "marginally attached workers.

- U6: U5 plus part-time workers who want to work full time, but cannot.

In April, the figure for U6 was 17. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Unemployment Statistics Can Be Read Many Ways; A Multitude of Factors Contributes to Who Is Labeled as Jobless
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.