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What’s the real unemployment rate? – CNBC

May 06
14:40 2016

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5 percent in April, according to figures released by the Labor Department on Friday. But does that tell the whole story?

On jobs Friday, the government puts out a ton of economic and employment-related data, each of which provides a certain perspective on the country’s economic situation. Economists look past the official employment rate (also know as the “U-3” number) to metrics that provide more nuanced views of employment.

The U-3 rate is meant to show the “total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force,” but doesn’t include a number of employment situations. A broader figure is the U-6 rate, which is used by many economists as a more accurate portrayal of the employment situation.

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