Monday, November 09, 2009

Broader Measure of U.S. Unemployment at 17.5%

The New York Times indicates that unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression.

In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. This includes the officially unemployed, who have looked for work in the last four weeks, and also discouraged workers who have looked in the past year, as well as millions of part-time workers who want to be working full time.

The broader rate is highest today, sometimes 20 percent, in states that had big housing bubbles, like California and Arizona, or that have large manufacturing sectors, like Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

It is a strange combination: workers who still have a job are doing better than in other deep recessions, while the the unemployment and underemployment figures have risen to their highest level since the Depression.

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