Trump on Unemployment…Is it really 40%

Unemployment means the number of unpaid men or women who are of working age and seeking jobs. People who don’t want to have a job and are not getting paid for any service they complete are not unemployed. I bring this up because recently, Donald Trump has been saying that the unemployment rate was 10, 20, 30, or 40 %. The recent jobs report has shown that unemployment was around 4.8 to 5 %.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment for people ages 16 and up.

There are 6 different measurements taken for unemployment:

  • U1: the percentage of labor force unemployed for 15 weeks or longer.
  • U2: the percentage of labor force who lost jobs or completed temporary work.
  • U3: Rate of people who are without jobs and have looked for work within the past four weeks.
  • U4: people in U3 plus “discouraged workers,” who stopped looking for work because they think no work is available for them
  • U5: the people in U4 plus other “marginally attached workers,” “loosely attached workers,” or those who “would like” to work, but not looked for work recently.
  • U6: the people in U5 and part-time workers who want to work full-time, but can’t

In the end, with all these measures taken, the unemployment rate is still under 5%, not 40%. If we did have a 40% unemployment rate, almost half the people in our countries would be unemployed; meaning businesses throughout the country will not have enough employees. This leads to under-production of goods and services, which decreases consumer spending and increases imports, negatively impacting the GDP.

Afghanistan has a near-40 unemployment rate. Greece has a 24.4 unemployment rate, and it was facing severe economic problems in the past. Our economy is not in as severe of a condition. Mr. Trump needs to read the job reports that are coming out. In a way, he is right that unemployment is 30–40%…by the loosest definition of unemployment — people who don’t have a job. Mr. Trump needs to learn what unemployment really is before making false claims about it.