You may be running into friends and realtives at holiday gatherings who claim that the 5% unemployment rate is one of Obama's success stories, and a good reason to stick with the Democrats. Writing in Conservative HQ, George Rasley highlights a chart produced by Benjamin Weingarten in Genfkd that sums up the uselessness of the U3 unemployment rate statistic inevitably tossed out by the media to make the claim that the economy is recovering under Obama. Most AT readers are sophisticated and realize that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ s U3 “unemployment rate” does not count discouraged workers who have given up the search for work. The BLS calls these people “marginally attached workers,” and the criteria for blasting them into invisibility in the U3 stats are pretty easy to meet:
Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
But most of our friends and neighbors do not realize that the more realistic U6 rate, generally ignored by the media does count the “marginally attached workers” as unemployed, and it is nearly double the U3 rate (currently 9.9% versus 5%).
So how do we sum up all this complicated information in one chart?
Here it is. Show it to your friends who think Obama has been good for the economy: