The Real Unemployment Rate Is Worse Than You Think


The March jobs numbers, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, were so dismal that Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, called them "a punch to the gut."

The latest jobs report also shows how misleading the unemployment numbers can be. The jobless rate dipped to 7.6 percent, but only 88,000 jobs were created. That's because half a million people dropped out of the labor force.

What would the real unemployment rate be then, if we were to include everyone who is actually unemployed? The Americans who spent so long looking for work that they stopped even trying, and moved back in with their parents. People who don't have the skills to get any job in their area other than manual labor, but with a bad back or some other injury, they just go on disability instead. In other words, people who would take a job if offered.