Friday, November 06, 2009

NY Times: Unemployment Measure U-6 Highest Since Great Depression

by Bill McBride on 11/06/2009 11:59:00 PM

From David Leonhardt at the NY Times: Broader Measure of Unemployment Stands at 17.5% Excerpts:

Officially, the Labor Department’s broad measure of unemployment goes back only to 1994. But early this year, with the help of economists at the department, The New York Times created a version that estimates it going back to 1970.
...
If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.

In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.
There is much more in the article, but this suggest that the BLS' "Alternative measure of labor underutilization U-6"1 is now at the highest level since the Great Depression.

1 "Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers"