Here’s an excerpt:
"But Mr. Greenspan’s augmented unemployment rate is hardly the broadest measure
of unemployed personnel in the country. For that, we need to go to U-6, found at
the Bureau of Labor
Statistics’ Table A-12, which is the BLS’ "alternative measures of labor
underutilization." It is the fullest measure of unemployed persons, and it
includes those people who have been looking for a job, but unable to secure one
— plus all "marginally attached workers," plus the total "employed part time
for economic reasons."
The BLS defines "marginally attached workers" as "persons who currently are
neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are
available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past." This
group includes the so-called "discouraged workers," a subset of the marginally
attached. They are defined as having given a "job-market related reason for not
currently looking for a job" (i.e., can’t find a job, despite looking for one,
and then giving up). Last, the BLS defines "persons employed part time for
economic reasons" as "those who want and are available for full-time work but
have had to settle for a part-time schedule."
What is the U-6 measure of unemployment? As of Friday, using January 2005
data, it is 10.2%.
That’s a pretty grim statistic . . ."
Rosy Jobs Rate Has Thorny Underside
2/9/2005 9:30 AM EST