Measuring more than the traditional unemployed

 

Employee Performance Graphic   Many of us have heard of the unemployment rate, but do you know about the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization? 
   It sounds complicated because, well, it is complicated. 
   The Oregon Employment Department recently shared how these measurements are growing in popularity. 
   Many times people pose questions about what the underemployment rate is - those who are working multiple part time jobs and are not counted in the unemployment rate, even though they aren't working at their true ability and may still be looking for other employment.
   The Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization takes these people and others into account in a measure it calls U-6. 
   In 2018, Oregon's unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, but when those underemployed and those discouraged to look for work were included, the rate more than doubled to 8.3 percent. 
   In comparison, Washington's unemployment rate was 4.4 and went up to 8.4 percent in the U-6 category in 2018.
   It's a compelling piece of information for those forecasting social service budgets and workforce development needs.  
   To learn more, turn to Tracy Morrissette's article for the Oregon Employment Department.