Unemployment Rate as Determined by the Department of Labor

A country’s economic status is determined by many factors, and one of them is unemployment rate. If a country’s unemployment rate is high, it means that a huge percentage of supposedly active workers run out of enough means to support their daily needs. In the United States, the unemployment rate is measured on a monthly basis. How it is done is not an easy one. It follows a unique and thorough plan and design geared at evaluating the many factors associated with an increase or decrease of able workers not getting a job.

The Department of Labor through its Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers data relevant for measuring unemployment rate monthly from 60,000 households across 250 metropolitan areas to measure macroeconomic indicators such as unemployment rate and thriving or losing business sectors. In the case of the rate of unemployment, surveys are done first by correctly including people that perfectly fit the description of the employed and the unemployed. When we say a person is employed, it means that a he is currently holding a permanent job which gives him a stable income. An unemployed person must be one that has all the following attributes: not currently working, but actively looking for a job in the past weeks and is available to work anytime. Adding the figures for both the total number of employed and unemployed workers will give us the figure for the total number of the labor force. A person who has left his job for school, marriage, raising kids, and other personal responsibilities or illness without planning t get a job soon is considered to be out of the labor force. He won’t be included as among the unemployed involved with the measurement of the country’s unemployment rate. To arrive at the rate of unemployment from the data gathered during surveys, the bureau simply divides the number of unemployed workers with the number of the total labor force.