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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Economic Perspectives
Is the official unemployment rate misleading? a look at labor market statistics over the business cycle
Lisa Barrow
Abstract

While maximum unemployment rates following the most recent economic recession are low by historical standards, the lack of increase in payroll employment leads many to conclude that official unemployment rates understate current labor market weakness. This article compares other labor market statistics during the current period with earlier recoveries. While the level of the current unemployment rate may not directly comparable with earlier periods, additional labor market evidence discussed here suggests that the current labor market may be stronger than in previous recovery periods of the past 30 years.


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Lisa Barrow, "Is the official unemployment rate misleading? a look at labor market statistics over the business cycle" , Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Economic Perspectives, issue Q II, pages 21-35, 2004.
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Keywords: Unemployment ; Labor market ; Business cycles
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