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Undercounting the Underemployed

August 3, 2010

This paper calls into question standard measures of unemployment.

It would be a great service to those attempting to understand the magnitudes of the current employment crisis and develop remedies for it if the BLS would regularly produce additional, more comprehensive measures of underutilization that capture the millions of ‘displaced’ workers – those who are not counted in the U-6 measure but would have been working but for the economic downturn. The author advocates new displacement estimates be added to the conventional U-6 indicator to get alternative scenarios for a new U-7 indicator.

Author: David Howell
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