Why the real unemployment rate is far higher than the official one


According to recent reports, the unemployment rate fell from 10.2% to 10%. But is unemployment really falling? Although it seems like toting up the numbers should be fairly straightforward, it turns out to be a complicated calculation, thanks to several inherent difficulties.

First, any unemployment number is in effect a snapshot of a moving target: No matter how rigorous the collection process, it's not possible to survey every household and every employer (not to mention the millions of self-employed).