It’s the first Friday of the month, which means today’s labor report is out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for last month. The U6 unemployment rate nationwide hit 16.4% for May 2009.
This is much higher than the normally quoted U3 rate, of course, in case that seems high to you. But as I explained when the February data came out, we should be looking at the U6 to get an accurate understanding of the situation. I encourage you to read that post, if you didn’t before, since understanding the difference between the “official rate” and the U6 rate is critical, in my opinion, to understanding the US economy, especially when we’re not in a recession.
I call the U6 “real” unemployment, just like people talk about “real” wage growth (which accounts for inflation).
This post originally appeared on Starboard Broadside.