Thursday, July 02, 2009

Real Unemployment Soars to 16.8 Percent (Statistics, Graph)

If you read Table 12 in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report you learned the real unemployment rate is 16.8 percent, not 9.5 percent.

Few people are familiar with the U-6 report that is issued by the United States Department of Labor-- Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U-6 (Table A-12: Alternative measures of labor under utilization) measures the real rate of unemployment in the United States.

Most news organizations report the more popular U.S. Department of Labor: Civilian Unemployment Rate. If you read the report today you learned that unemployment is 9.5 percent for June.

If you read the U-6 you learned the real rate of unemployment is 16.8 percent versus 10.3 percent in June 2008. To view this report and the numbers go here.

Real Unemployment U-6 -- 16.8%

Real Unemployment June
There are other groups of unemployed that are not counted in the more popular employment report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics U-6 report includes the unemployed, and those that have thrown in the towel.

The U-6 report includes:

  • Total unemployed
  • plus all marginally attached workers
  • plus total employed part time for economic reasons

In other words,

  • marginally attached workers are 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.
  • Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not looking currently for a job.

The U-6 report counts everyone that is unemployed--officially and unofficially.

Here are some other statistics that you might find disconcerting.
  • About 2.2 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in June. 618,000 more than a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the past 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
  • Among the marginally attached, there were 793,000 discouraged workers in June, up by 373,000 from a year earlier.
  • In June, the average workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 0.1 hour to 33.0 hours--the lowest level on record for the series, which began in 1964.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 433,000 over the month to 4.4 million.
  • In June, 3 in 10 unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.

This morning the stock market reacted negatively to this report. If you are wondering why--all you need to do is look beyond the obvious. This is what this website is all about.

These numbers do not bode well for stocks and indicate at best, we are looking at slow growth in the months ahead.

All of the statistics in this article were sourced from the Department of Labor--Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Subscribe to All American Investor via Email

Bob DeMarco is a citizen journalist and twenty year Wall Street veteran. Bob has written more than 700 articles with more than 18,000 links to his work on the Internet. Content from All American Investor has been syndicated on Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Pluck, Blog Critics, and a growing list of newspaper websites. Bob is actively seeking syndication and writing assignments.

More from All American Investor

Follow All American Investor on Twitter