Saturday, December 12, 2009

U-3 and U-6, about what you would expect

As you might know, the "unemployment" numbers that are usually published are only one of the ways that unemployment is measured. It is technically called "U3", and covers people who are conventionally considered "unemployed". However, there are other numbers, ranging from U1 (Which is people who have not worked a single hour for pay in the last x months) to U6 (people who are underemployed).
I wondered how the different rates would match up, and thanks to the labor department I was able to find out:
As could be expected, the U-3 and the U-6 rates are very close to each other. Which makes sense, since U-6 by definition includes U-3. Since this diagram doesn't immediately tell us a lot, I took the U3/U6 ratio and plotted it against U3.
This diagram has some minimal good news: as a vague, general trend, as U3 goes up, the relative increase in U6 goes down. If the trend was flat, or even upwards, the underemployment ratio in Michigan could be over one-quarter.
But the trend isn't super important: as it is, it seems that within the limits we usually have, U3 and U6 go up pretty much up in tandem, regardless of what the number is.


  1. Is this becoming the Weekly Scatterplot? :(

  2. I am doing better!
    If I got more comments and discussion, I might post more!