Unemployment, which tends to lag recovery, fell below 8% in September 2012 for the first time since early 2009. Declines have been slow to materialize, with February 2013 unemployment still at 7.7% an...
d well above its long-run average of 6%, which is causing worries that no new jobs are being added (Figure A1.4). Looking at a broader measure of underutilized workers—one that sums the number of unemployed with those working part time for economic reasons and those who want work but have quit searching— tells a similar story. While the broader measure has dropped from its peak of just over 17% in 2009–2010, the February 2013 rate of 14.3% was still higher than before the global economic downturn. However, the number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 4-week seasonally adjusted average of 339,750 in the week ending 16 March 2013, the lowest since March 2008, suggesting further strengthening in the labor market is likely in the coming months.
a) As share of labor force plus persons marginally attached to the labor force.
Source: US Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/
(accessed 19 March 2013).
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