« »

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why U.S. unemployment data is skewed

Of over 300 million Americans, approximately 100 million or one-third are gainfully employed. This includes 1.13 million non-civilian personnel and 98.5 million in active civilian labor force participation.

What skews the data is that unemployment statistics are based on the total labor force of 153.4 million per the Bureau of Labor Statistics and not the labor force participation rate of roughly 100 million. Such being the case, unemployment statistics include non-participatory civilian labor when calculating unemployment percentages.

Moreover,  if active civilian and non-civilian labor force figures are used, the 14.1 million unemployed becomes more like 14.1 percent and the 24.79 million U-6 alternative measure makes unemployment closer to 25 percent.