A quick search for “Unemployment Rate” brought me to a nice little gem from those evil geniuses at Google. They put together a line chart, updated regularly, to display the Federal Unemployment Rate. The utility is actually pretty handy. By default, it shows you the overall U.S. unemployment rate, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor.
Just in case you didn’t get the memo back in early March, it seems that the published federal unemployment rate does not include a certain group of the job force, who are technically unemployed. See, the federal unemployment rate has 6 levels of measurement, ranging from “not that bad” to “holy shit”.
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It seems that the published unemployment rate is what’s called U-3, and does not include workers who have stopped looking for work, workers who are so downtrodden that they will take what they can get, or workers who have taken jobs outside of their regular field, such as a lawyer working in fast food. Also, the statistics don’t take into account the patriotic Americans who don’t want to be part of the problem, and thus haven’t applied for their free money. Bless their unemployed souls, really.
As you can see from the BLS governemt site, the actual recorded unemployment rate is closer to 16.5%.