"Real" jobless figure is twice as bad: 13.3%

| Print |  Email
Thursday, January 01, 2009
STATEWIDE The growing unemployment rate in Oregon is distressing, but the “real” unemployment rate is actually nearly twice as bleak.


Officially, the state unemployment rate in October was 7.3%. Unofficially, the rate was 13.3% if you count other groups usually not included in the Oregon Employment Department’s monthly calculation.

“It’s a little bit of another perspective on the labor force,” says state labor economist Art Ayre.

The conventional definition of the “unemployment rate” only counts those out of work but actively searching for a job. The 13.3% rate includes people who want work but have given up looking, those who want work but haven’t searched for a job in the past four weeks, and people who have a part-time job but want to work full-time.

The figure is what some labor economists call the “real” unemployment rate, an alternative, and controversial, number that sometimes finds its way into the national dialogue on the most accurate indicators of unemployment and economic health.

Nationally, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles and categorizes the rate as “labor underutilization,” economic jargon for describing people who don’t fall under the technical definition of unemployment.

Oregon’s official employment spiked to 8.1% in November, and the “real” rate will increase accordingly.  

“During certain periods when people are looking for a job, this number can increase rapidly,” Ayre says. “It’s another perspective to get a complete picture.”

JASON SHUFFLER


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

More Articles

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

Green workplace 2.0

Linda Baker
Thursday, May 28, 2015
IMG 2808BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS