JOBS | 1 in 4 Men Unemployed? U3 + U6 = 27 Million Unemployed

Per a recent (10/11) MarketWatch analysis of September 2010 employment data, one in four men over the age of 25 and WITH a college degree is without a job.
We all know that the September unemployment rate (9.6%) did not rise, or did it? Yes, yes it did. There are two major categories of employment: U3 and U6. If you fall within one then you are not included in the other.

U3 is the full time unemployment level. There was an increase of approximately 95,000 unemployed but this number fell just short of pushing the percentage of unemployed higher. So we remain flatlined at 9.6%, which was 9.8% one year ago.

U6 is where the mass of un(der)employed live. U6 are your and my neighbors that are doing something to earn $$ but can only find some part-time work.

The U6 unemployment rate made a massive jump from 16.7% in August to 17.1% in September. This is roughly equivalent to about 18,000,000 people unemployed. When you include the more than 9,000,000 represented by the U3 number then we have 27 million Americans idled.

Recommended reading: MarketWatch “The going gets tougher; Commentary: America still hemorrhaging jobs”

To MarketWatch’s credit, it acknowledges the reality of our current situation:

“No, you can’t blame all this on the current administration. There are time lags, and the economic meltdown mostly occurred under the previous administration. In the 12 months before the inauguration, the economy shed 4.4 million jobs. Nonetheless, the data for the past 20 months are a bitter political pill.”

So what do we do? That is the all important question.

I would hope that we avoid playing the blame game. That just antagonizes the very people that we need cooperation from. On the other hand it seems hard to avoid — the blame game — when a major
portion of the electorate seems oblivious as to how we have got to where we are today.

So please be kind and reach out a hand. There are many Americans that need a bit of understanding, a large dose of help and a friend for when their day or week just falls apart. Almost 100,000 American families continue to lose their homes to foreclosure each month.

Reality is that there is no good news apparent on the horizon; we are entering the fall when the economy should ramp up for the holiday season (50% of all sales)  … yet there is little good news.

My own assessment is that the economy will stay close to its current level through 2013 (not drop to less that 8% unemployed; U3 rate) and that we will probably experience a jobless recovery through 2017.

Historical U6 Rates by month:

Looking for a job? Begin your search here:

Commentary by Bill Golden, aka, an independent conservative observer of American politics, economics, business and trends. You can reach Bill at



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2 responses to “JOBS | 1 in 4 Men Unemployed? U3 + U6 = 27 Million Unemployed

  1. Jack Stell

    I’m sitting here in our pop-up trailer in Rapid City, SD on our way to Spokane, WA. As I read your commentaries I get scared. They sound so ‘common sense’, yet, I have trusted before and have been very disappointed. Where does one get reliable news on which to base an informed decision? It seems like most news sources have been bought and co-opted. Since I have met you and have a sense for who you are I feel like taking the chance of trusting your perspective. You also quote the sources of your data. Kathleen and I will be in Spokane, Washington on Friday. After our dabble in both the Tea Party and the Coffee Party we will find a way to be active citizens in our political process. On a related note, it would be very interesting to know what the rate of U3 + U6 is for Veterans.

    • Jack,

      There is a lot of reliable information out there. Much of it is not available through the media so you just need to know where to look. One place to start is on the right side of my Bill4DogCatcher website; you’ll find links to data sources on the internet that I trust as being nonpartisan and focused on ‘just the facts’.

      There is indeed much to be scared of … but little that cannot be dealt with.

      When I give some of my comprehensive career seminars, I usually hear several folks say afterwards what a bare knuckle assessment I gave of the economy and the forseeable future. No. No I don’t do such things — I gave what I consider an appraisal of the future as I see it, and how to thrive and to survive: pay down debt, avoid new debt, develop your personal and professional skills, and answer the question: would I hire me?

      As for politics: blaaaah! The Left and the Right are intent on destroying the other. It is hate and beyond rational.

      Politics are just one reason that I do not see employment as improving before 2017. Things will get better in 2017 magically because the last of the Baby Boomers will be nearing retirement and Generation X is much smaller in numbers. That is the saving grace: there are less people so the math works to their favor — not that we came up with any real answers.

      I expect only chaos politically between now and 2014. The silver lining for 2014 is that I believe a number of Republicans — people like me — will jump ship and somewhere between 5-7 senators will be ‘independents’. These independents will change the balance of power, holding the senate and the house hostage unless they come to the table.

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