Almost 5 Million Unemployed Not Counted

Economic Policy Institute calculates REAL unemployment rate

In today’s labor market, the unemployment rate drastically understates the weakness of job opportunities. This is due to the existence of a large pool of “missing workers”—potential workers who, because of weak job opportunities, are neither employed nor actively seeking a job. In other words, these are people who would be either working or looking for work if job opportunities were significantly stronger. Because jobless workers are only counted as unemployed if they are actively seeking work, these “missing workers” are not reflected in the unemployment rate.

As part of its ongoing effort to create the metrics needed to assess how well the economy is working for America’s broad middle class, EPI is introducing its “missing worker” estimates, which will be updated on this page on the first Friday of every month immediately after the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its jobs numbers. The “missing worker” estimates provide policymakers with a key gauge of the health of the labor market.

Current “missing worker” estimates at a glance
Updated October 9, 2013, based on most current data available

Total missing workers, August 2013:
4,970,000

Unemployment rate if missing workers were looking for work:
10.1%

Official unemployment rate:
7.3%

SOURCE: http://www.epi.org/publication/missing-workers/

 

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