Is the Unemployment Rate a Good Measure of People Currently Out of Work?

Abstract: Update, May 15, 2020: Following the release of the latest Current Population Survey estimates and related micro data, we are able to calculate the actual value of our U-Cov rate for April, which was 30.7% (not seasonally adjusted). This was over a 17 percentage point increase from March, significantly higher than the 10 percentage point increase in the official “U3” unemployment rate (to 14.4% in April). A 4.8 million increase in the number of people working part-time for economic reasons, a 4.3 million increase in those on unpaid leave, and a 4.5 million increase in those out of the labor force that want a job all contributed to this increase. These were in addition to the 15.1 million increase in the unemployed, which also contributed to the increase in the U-Cov rate.

Keywords: Unemployed; Covid-19; labor market;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Publication Date: 2020-05-05