Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States (Archived Tables)
Six alternative measures of labor underutilization have long been available on a monthly
basis from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the United States as a whole. They are
published in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Employment
Situation news release. (See table 15.)
The official concept of unemployment (as measured in the CPS by U-3 in the U-1 to U-6 range of
alternatives) includes all jobless persons who are available to take a job and have actively
sought work in the past four weeks. This concept has been thoroughly reviewed and validated
since the inception of the CPS in 1940. The other measures are provided to data users and analysts
who want more narrowly (U-1 and U-2) or broadly (U-4 through U-6) defined measures.
BLS is committed to updating the alternative measures data for states on a 4-quarter moving-average basis. The use of 4-quarter
averages increases the reliability of the CPS estimates, which are based on relatively small sample sizes at the state level, and
eliminates seasonality. Due to the inclusion of lagged quarters, the state alternative measures may not fully reflect the current
status of the labor market. The latest estimates are the averages from the
fourth quarter of 2012 through the third quarter of 2013.
Data are also available for the following periods:
The six state measures are based on the same definitions as those published for the U.S.:
- U-1, persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force;
- U-2, job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force;
- U-3, total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (this is the definition used for the official unemployment rate);
- U-4, total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers;
- U-5, total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other marginally attached workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers; and
- U-6, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.
Last Modified Date: November 22, 2013