Unemployment and Underemployment

Unemployment and Underemployment in the United States

In spite of the economic recovery from the disastrous recession of 2008, unemployment and underemployment remains as significant impediment to living a full and productive life for many Americans.  On account of the size of the American economy and its inherent complexity there are many factors that contribute to this issue.  Before we can begin to make sense of all of this, it is important to become familiar with the terminology.

The following information and data was compiled by the Economic Policy Institute and published in, The State of Working America.

Unemployment and underemployment  - Link to Compiled Data

Unemployment statistics do not provide the complete story regarding the real health of the economy for workers.  The following are descriptions of some of the various employment categories (as shown in the link to the compiled data above) -

Involuntary part-time workers—those who want a full-time job but have had to settle for part-time work

“Marginally attached” workers—workers who want a job, are available to work, but have become so discouraged that they have stopped actively seeking work and are consequently not counted as officially unemployed.

“Around 27 million workers—roughly one out of every six U.S. workers—are either unemployed or underemployed.   Importantly, this is a very conservative measure of the total number of underemployed because it does not include workers who have had to take a job that is below their skill or experience level.

“Once workers get laid off from a job in this labor market, the odds are stacked strongly against them finding another one anytime soon.”