Earlier this week, we added a new dataset to the Federal Priorities Database: underemployment. I really like this metric and think it's worthy of further explanation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the unemployedas people who “do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.”
By this definition, these people are excluded from the unemployment rate:
Luckily, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes several Alternate Measures of Labor Underutilizationthat help us cast a wider net. The most inclusive of these is called, uncreatively, U-6 and is defined as unemployed + marginally attached + involuntary part-time workers.
We decided to call this metric underemployment instead of U-6.
For example, consider Nevada, the state with the highest 2010 unemployment rate at 14.9%. Add in the marginally attached and involuntary part time workers to get underemployment and watch the number jump to 23.6%.
See it in action for yourself, and drop us a line if you have any questions.