Friday, March 06, 2009

Jobs Report Follow-up...

There's always an interesting chart buried inside the jobs report labeled Table A-12: Alternative measures of labor underutilization.

This chart takes the unemployed and -

adds discouraged workers (the unemployed that have stopped looking)

adds marginally attached workers (the unemployed that aren't looking but are willing to work)

adds part-time workers working part-time for economic reasons (the part-time employees that would work full-time if it was offered).

This is an important measure because it really creates a measurement of not just the unemployed but the underemployed (discouraged, marginally attached and part-time). In February 2008, this broader measure reported 9% rate of labor underutilization. Today's number hit 14.8% or more than one in seven members of the American labor force.

While, the 8.1% unemployment rate will garner all of the headlines, I think the A-12 number is an important number to follow.



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