I’ve already posted about the rather disappointing jobs report today, but I noted that there was a significant drop in the number of Americans working part-time for economic reasons, according to the survey of households.
Click here to see the data, or just click on the image below to enlarge the screenshot with today’s data.
That contributed to a pretty significant decline in U-6 unemployment from 14.9% in February to 14.5% in March. That’s down from 15.7% in March 2011.
I’ve argued previously that we should probably be looking more at the U-6 number than the commonly reported U-3 number (now down to 8.2%). Here’s how it’s defined: “U-6: Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force”
The U-6 rate is still very high by historical standards, but it has been declining consistently.