MSM Reports U3 Unemployment Rate of 8.6%, Ignores U6 Unemployment Rate of 15.6%
Different Measures of Unemployment
From Wikipedia, we see that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has six different ways to measure unemployment, named U1 through U6. (scroll about half way down the Wikipedia page to get a description of U1-U6)
U3 is the “official” unemployment rate as per the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, the proportion of the civilian labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment. This is the rate reported by the MSM. In November, 2011, the U3 rate was 8.6%. Obama called the drop to 8.6% an improvement.
U6 is comprised of U3 plus “discouraged workers,” or those who have stopped looking for work because current economic conditions make them believe that no work is available for them (U4), plus other “marginally attached workers,” or “loosely attached workers,” or those who “would like” and are able to work, but have not looked for work recently (U5), plus part time workers who want to work full time, but cannot due to economic reasons. This measure of unemployment is the most comprehensive measure of labor resource unemployment available. [emphasis mine] The U6 unemployment rate counts people without work seeking full-time employment (the U-3 rate), but also counts marginally attached workers and those working part-time. Marginally attached workers include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking for work, but still want to work. In November, 2011, the U6 rate was 15.6%.
How Was The 8.6% Rate Achieved?
As Rich Mitchell says in his article, “Far more jobs have been added in previous months and no such reduction in the overall unemployment rate resulted?” So there must be some trickery afoot. The Obama administration announced the “creation” of 140,000 private sector jobs in November. It also announced the loss of 20,000 jobs, for a net increase of 120,000 government jobs. What the administration did NOT announce was that 315,000 Americans stopped looking for work, and were not counted in the U3 calculation.
Add 120,000 jobs, don’t count 315,000 people no longer looking for jobs, and the U3 rate of 8.6% magically appears. But include the 315,000 in the rate calculation, as U6 does, and an entirely different picture emerges!
What the MSM Reports
Although not exhaustive, a quick Google search, with “8.6% unemployment rate” as my search argument, yielded this:
- ABC News
- CBS News
- CNN Money
- Fox News
- Los Angeles Times
- NBC News
- NY Times
- USA Today
- Washington Post
ALL of the above cited sources reported the 8.6% unemployment figure. How much more evidence of MSM bias do we need?
But that’s just my opinion.