"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

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Ranking the airlines that fly PDX

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
airlinesthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are not created equal when it comes to customer service.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


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