Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

| Print |  Email
Archives - January 2009
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

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

On the Brink

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

Epitaph for a Boondoggle

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


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