Current U-6 Unemployment Rate
October 3, 2014 by Tim McMahon Leave a Comment
Current U-6 Unemployment Rate is 11.3% BLS and 15.1% Gallup
Current U-6 Unemployment Rate:
For September 2014 the official U-6 unemployment rate fell from 12.0% to 11.3%. But the independently produced Gallup equivalent called the “Underemployment Rate” disagrees and is at 15.1% flat at 15.1% since July. So the differential between Gallup and BLS on supposedly the same data is 3.8%.
What is U-6?
U-6 is a broader measure of unemployment including discouraged workers and many consider U-6 to be”the Real Unemployment Rate” See: What is U-6 Unemployment? for the full definition of U-6 Unemployment.
(Chart too large to copy/paste here, see at link.)
As you can see from the chart below, the unadjusted U-6 unemployment rate was 15.2% in December 2011, 13.9% in November 2012 and it rose to 14.4% in December 2012. Previously, it bottomed at 14.1% in April 2012 but by July it bounced up again to 15.2% and in October the U-6 fell back to 13.9% just in time for the election. But by January 2013 it was back to 15.4%. By May it had fallen down to 13.4% but rose again in June to 14.6% before declining to 13.6% in August since then it bounced around the 13% level for a while before dropping to 11.8%.
Comparing U3 to U6
If you look at the chart below carefully you will see that the current U-3 unemployment rate is 6.5% which is significantly above the U-3 rate from 2006-2008. The current U-3 rate is almost equal to the U-6 unemployment rate during the 1999 -2001 period when U-6 bottomed at 6.3%.
You may also notice that when unemployment rises the gap between U-3 and U-6 also rises. For instance, in October 2000, unemployment was at the lowest levels on this chart with U-3 at 3.6% and U-6 was at 6.3%. For a difference of only 2.7%. But at the peak of unemployment in January 2010 U-3 was at 10.6% but U-6 shot all the way up to 18% for a difference of 7.4%. The following chart is a comparison of the Official Unemployment Rate U-3 to the broader U-6 Unemployment rate. We can see that U-6 is always higher than the often quoted U-3 “Unemployment Rate”.