Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Real Unemployment (U6)

The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts "marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons." Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the "marginally attached workers" include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work.

The U6 rate shows over 16% seasonally adjusted unemployment in June, greater than any recession since the Great Depression.

Shadowstats.com has a third rate that they have put together that shows unemployment at over 20%.

Chart of U.S. Unemployment

Under the regular unemployment rate (U-3):
Some groups of workers [face] official unemployment rates in the double digits. As of May, unemployment rates for black, Hispanic, and teenage workers were already 14.9%, 12.7% and 22.7%, respectively. Workers without a high-school diploma confronted a 15.5% unemployment rate, while the unemployment rate for workers with just a high-school degree was 10.0%. Nearly one in five (19.2%) construction workers were unemployed. In Michigan, the hardest hit state, unemployment was at 12.9% in April. Unemployment rates in seven other states were at double-digit levels as well.
Consider this. These are the U-3 rates. The U-6 versions of these rates, likely at least double the U-3 rates for those on the bottom (since things always get worse faster for those on the bottom), mean that teenagers have an unemployment rate of nearly 50%, and teens of color are likely higher, and teens of color in the inner-city are likely higher than that.

The standard unemployment rates hide the unemployment holocaust that has been going on for years within low-income communities of color.

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