Mary: I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at the real unemployment rate. Mike, after jumping to the mid-teens, both the national and North Carolina unemployment rates have dropped to between 7 and 8%. This is a big achievement. Yet does the official jobless rate capture all the special impacts of the Covid-19 recession?
Mike: Summary Answer
- Economists increasing are answering, no
- One of the keys to being counted as unemployed is that the jobless person is actively looking for work – if not, not counted as unemployed
- Today, it is estimated 4 million people nationwide who want a job but are not looking because they are caring for relative, watching children, have Covid, or are afraid to look for work
- Counting these folks as unemployed increases the jobless rate by 3% point to over 10%
- 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.