The Economic Perspective: “The Employment Rate”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at the employment rate.  Mike, we hear a lot about the unemployment rate, which measures the percentage of workers without a job.  But over the years you’ve talked a lot about some issues in measuring unemployment.  Do we have another measure that perhaps better measures the condition of the job market?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Problem with standard unemployment rate is defining unemployment
  2. Must be looking for work and without work
  3. Rate can bounce around when folks begin looking again
  4. As a result, some economists say better to look at the employment rate
  5. % of working age (25-54) adults with a job
  6. Today stands at 80% – up from 75% at depths of the recession
  7. But not an all-time high – was at 82% in 2000
  8. So, suggests there are still employable people to get jobs
  9. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.