America’s official unemployment rate has declined sharply after rocketing up last year, but top government economic officials are increasingly citing a different figure — that puts the jobless rate at nearly 10 percent, well above its official 6.3 percent reading and roughly matching its 2009 peak

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I think the article didn’t mention why Yellen and Powell are preferring an alternative measure at the time. It’s not that they’re some heterodox cranks- they’re literally the figureheads of orthodox economics pretty much, it’s that the environment were trying to capture right now is very unique. The role of unemployment rates is to measure labor market tightness. U3 specifically measures short term labor market slack. It is the figure that recruiters and HR departments care about. People who are no longer participating in the labor force are excluded- prisoners and disabled people aren’t contributing to labor market slack after all, only people who are looking for jobs are. However, the pandemic has resulted in lockdowns and restrictions that have eliminated many jobs. Thus many people who are out of a job aren’t even bothering to look. But the moment those restrictions are lifted, these people are flooding back into the labor force.


Not to mention the “official” number just disregards discouraged workers, or people who have given up but are still in desperate need, overqualified people too


Yeah I’m all for giving up at this point. Have a BS in Econ worked for a Fortune 100 for 3 years and can’t even get an interview for a teller job.


Correlates well with the ongoing initial jobless claim numbers being literally off the charts for 11 months when compared with any previous recession. The only way unemployment can be trending down is that people abandon looking for work. What’s the point in officials admitting that the real economy is in worse shape than previously claimed? Making the new administration appear better by resetting the baseline from which employment gains can be measured?


wait, abandon looking for jobs? How do you survive? Unemployement benefit? homelessness? Just die? Jesus that’s horrible to happen in America of all countries.