Unemployment Is In Pretty Good Shape No Matter How You Look At It

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


I have no special reason for posting this except that a few folks were discussing it in my Twitter feed. The proximate stimulus was an old piece by Gallup’s CEO claiming that the standard unemployment rate is a “lie” because it doesn’t count people who aren’t looking for work, or who are forced to work part time, etc. So here’s the U6 unemployment rate, which includes all those things:

Since 1994, when the series begins, the average U6 rate has been 10.7 percent. Today it’s 9.7 percent. But even at that, it’s about a point higher than the average during the last two expansions and two points higher than its best during the Bush era. In other words, it could still stand to drop another point or two, but it’s really in pretty good shape. Jobs are out there for most people who want them. Keep this in mind the next time you hear someone burbling about how unemployment is really way worse than the government is telling you.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate