How to Read Friday’s Unemployment Report

From U-3 to U-6, a few tips to consider as you review the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report summarizing November’s national employment figures.

As reported by the progressive think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP), while much attention in to the report will be given to the unemployment rate, also called the U-3, there is another measure to consider as a reflection of economic recovery. That is U-6, an indicator that includes those who have given up their job search, and those who work part-time but would prefer to work full-time.

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Graph courtesy of the Center for American Progress.

The Center for American Progress describes,

U-3 vs.U-6

The U-3 unemployment rate does not capture the people who want jobs but have given up looking for work or the people who would like full-time work but can only find part-time positions. Perhaps the most comprehensive unemployment measure, U-6 alleviates this problem by including marginally attached workers—those who have recently looked for work but are not currently looking—and part-time workers who would prefer full-time work. U-6 is always higher than U-3, but the gap grew much larger than usual during the recession and has remained above or near prerecession records over the course of the recovery.

For more information, see the full story from the Center for American Progress, The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-December 2016 Jobs Release.

In Maryland, focus since the election has been on how a change in Administration could affect Maryland’s federal employment levels. One aspect of that subject includes whether the FBI headquarters will be located in Maryland. For more information, see the Baltimore Sun‘s Gov. Larry Hogan says Donald Trump could help Maryland land FBI headquarters.