unemployment_Claims

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports their monthly unemployment figures, they reflect only a certain portion of the overall unemployment numbers.  Of the six different unemployment figures in their monthly report, only one gets all of the media attention.

The BLS lists six categories of unemployment figures, but the media only looks at the U-3 category and ignores all of the rest.  The U-3 category used by the government and media does not include anyone that has not looked for a job in the past four weeks as they are considered to be out of the workforce.  The six categories and their December 2012 figures are:

  • U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force – 4.3%
  • U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force – 4.1%
  • U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate) – 7.8%
  • U-4 Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers – 8.5%
  • U-5 Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force – 9.4%
  • U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force – 14.4%