Obama’s Record of “True” Unemployment Hits 9.7 Percent! 94 Million Not Working

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its unemployment rates for April 2016. The U-3 unemployment rate is 5%, but the U-6 rate is 9.7%! The BLS calculates six unemployment rates, labelled U-1 through U-6. The unemployment designation “U-3”, is the unemployment rate published in the media and government communications, measures the number of individuals unemployed as a percentage of the civilian labor force. However, it is not the “true” unemployment rate, referred to as the U-6 rate. The U-3 rate does not includes millions of individuals who are willing to work, but don’t fit into the BLS’s narrow definition of unemployed.

The U-6 rate shows the total under utilization of labor in the U.S. The rate includes the U-3 unemployed and:

  • “Discouraged workers.” People who have looked for work in the past year, but have not looked in the previous four weeks since they believe there isn’t any work available due to economic conditions or for some other reason.
  • Individuals who are willing to work but who have not looked for work in the prior four weeks for a reason other than being “discouraged.”
  • Individuals who work on a part-time basis since full-time work is lacking due to economic conditions.

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and some politicians have commented in the past that the U-6 rate is more representative of unemployment since it takes into account the “discouraged workers” class as well as people working part-time instead of full-time due to economic conditions.

    Mainstream media and the government do not discuss the “true” unemployment rates. The U-6 rate appears as the last line of their reports. The “true” unemployment rate should be highlighted to keep us better informed.

    Here’s another statistic that is never discussed: the participation rate, which is the percent of the civilian population who participated in the labor force by either having a job or actively seeking employment.

  • The BLS reported that April 2016’s participation rate was 62.8%, falling from 65.7% when President Obama first took office in January 2009.
  • To put it another way, 37.2% of the U.S.population or over 94 million people are not working, an increase of 562,000 more than in March 2016.
  • There are 2.9% more people or over 7 million who are not working since Obama took office in 2009.
  • This would be a great debate question.