The Unemployment Rate explained on Economic Pulse

Jun 24, 2014

Payroll employment increased by whopping 217,000 in May. Despite that, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3%. The unemployment rate stayed the same despite the 217,000 new additions to payroll employment because the total number of unemployed increased by 46,000. How did that happen? This is basically a function of the definition of employment. The government’s definition of employed is very broad and appears to have been designed to underestimate the total unemployment. By design, it regularly does not count a large number of unemployed as part of the labor force, thus always making the official number of unemployed a lot less than the actual number.