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Real Unemployment Rate

The Real Unemployment Rate

The recently reported unemployment rate in the United States is a mere 4.9%. Oh really? This is typical political deception. This one is very easy to clear up once one has the actual facts. So what is the real unemployment rate? As of January 2016 the rate is actually 22.9%. Let me explain.

You see politicians on both sides of the aisle like to show positive statistics so that they can take credit for such good results. Most people have come to distrust politicians (and the media) so I thought I would take just a moment and provide some resources from economists, not politicians regarding the real rate of unemployment. First a description of the classifications then an important easy to read summary below the classifications. So here goes.

The Classifications

U-1: This is the narrowest definition of unemployment, counting only those who are unemployed for 15 weeks or longer.

U-2: A slightly wider definition, including those who would be counted as U-1, plus all of those who have lost their jobs involuntarily and those who have completed temporary jobs. A recent example of a temporary job would be someone who took a job as a census taker for the 2010 Census, knowing that once it was completed, their employment with the Census Bureau would be terminated.

U-3: This is considered the official unemployment rate by the Department of Labor and the one most often cited in the media. This rate includes all those who are unemployed and are seeking employment as well as those classified as U-1 and U-2.

U-4: This rate is U-3 plus those workers who are considered ‘discouraged workers.’ In laymen’s terms, these are individuals who are unemployed but not looking for employment only because they think there are no jobs available and to look would be in vain.

U-5: This rate is U-4 plus those workers who are marginally attached to the labor force. Essentially it includes people who are unemployed and not looking for work for any reason, market related or not.

U-6: This rate is U-5 plus all those who are working part-time due to the poor jobs market, but who want and are available to work full time. An example would be a recent college graduate working part-time as a waiter to get by, but would like to work full time in his or her chosen field.


John Williams, Phd is sort of the economist’s economist when it comes to reporting statistics, many of the more well know “celebrity economists” if you will go to John Williams for their stats and then they reflect and forecast based on these stats. You too can learn more by viewing this one important link from John Williams. That link says it all in a current one page simple format.

So what is the real unemployment rate? As of January 2016 it was 22.9%. I should say that reporting it as 4.9% is deceptive and misleading. Instead of properly informing the unsuspecting public of such an important statistic as unemployment, politicians choose to hide the actual facts by keeping the public they were sworn into office to serve, improperly informed. The system is setting people up. Keep them dumbed down, uninformed and dependent upon government for food, money, healthcare and shelter. Google around. Learn more. Share this blog post as knowledge is power. Meanwhile don’t forget this…tic-tock-tic-tock. USA debt clock.

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