To this day, to be officially counted as unemployed, you need to be earning no money at all, and you need to be actively looking for work.
by Dave Allen
The International Forecaster
Readers who follow me know that one of my pet peeves is inaccurate governmental reporting on things like economic indicators.
A prime example: for decades, we’ve seen evidence of such imprecision every single month in the U.S. Labor Department’s jobless figures. And it’s only gotten worse since the pandemic kicked into high gear earlier this year.
Here’s a brief illustration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation’s so-called “headline” September jobless rate was 7.9%.
The headline rate is just what it says – it’s the official government rate most commonly reported by the news media and, thus, repeated most often by politicians and institutions.
As noted, the headline rate is the BLS’ official U-3 unemployment rate. It reflects the total number of unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force.