Sunday, August 17, 2008

Alternative Measures of Unemployment: U-6

The BLS data series that gets most of the press is the headline unemployment rate, or U-3 (seasonally adjusted). With the structural changes in the economy which would seem to result in undercounting issues in how U-3 is calculated, many folks have started giving U-6 some attention(U-6 casts the net very broadly, in particular folks who are involuntarily part time).

This plot is based on U-6 unadjusted, the year over year percent change in the value - so if the value in July, 2007 was 5% and then the value in July, 2008 was 6% this would be a 20% increase on this plot - declines in the unemployment rate would be a negative value. On a rate of change basis, we are where we were at around September, 2001 only with a U-6 value that is 10.8%(7/2008) instead of 8.2%(9/2001). The Federal Funds rate in 9/2001 started the month at 3.5%, ended the month at 3% on the way to 1%...

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