Business Report - 8/31/15: Alternate measures of unemployment

Business Report - 8/31/15: Alternate measures of unemployment

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's time for Howard's Illustrated Economics. This morning, alternate measures of unemployment.

The Labor Department does six different measures of joblessness, and it's instructive to look at the other ones now and then.

U-1 is people unemployed 15 weeks or longer. In Hawaii, through the spring quarter, that amounted to only 1.6% of the workforce, 50% less than the national U-1.

U-2 is job losers plus people who had temporary jobs that have run their course. In Hawaii, 1.8%, still way below the mainland. U-3 is the regular unemployment rate we always report. In Hawaii, 4.1%. Nationally, 6.1%.

U-4 is that, plus discouraged workers who aren't counted as unemployed ordinarily because they've dropped out of the work force. This would cover your cousin who does carpentry off the books, and your nephew who went back to school. In Hawaii, 4.5%. U.S., 6.1%.

U-5 is all that, plus marginally-attached workers, who are available for work but haven't actually looked for a job in several weeks. In Hawaii, 5.5%. Nationally, 7%.

U-6 is all that, plus part-time workers who want or need full-time. In Hawaii, 10.1%. On the mainland, 11.3%.

Notice our rates are dramatically lower than the mainland until you add part-time workers who need more hours, then, all of a sudden, we're nine tenths of the way to the national rate.

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