The unemployment rate is the percentage of people who are unemployed in a area. The unemployment rate is figured by dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of people currently employed. Unemployment naturally rises and falls but in times of recession or depression it is common to see the unemployment rate to rise drastically. A healthy economy usually has an unemployment rate between 4% and 6%. Even in a very healthy economy there unemployment exists because it takes in to account people who are unemployed do to life transitions and changes in careers.
There are two different unemployment rates that are studied. T He U-3 unemployment rate is calculated using the standard algorithm of dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of employed people in a city, state, or country. This rate does not include people who are not part of the labor force. This would include people who choose not to work and those who are unable to find employment and choose to stop looking for work. The second measure is the U-6 unemployment rate. This rate includes part-time workers and “marginally attached” workers and considers these workers as unemployed.
In the United States the U-3 unemployment rate has seen some highs and lows in the last decade. In December of 2007, the rate was 5.0%. Within the span of 2 years the rate had risen to 10% and peaked in October of 2009. From then, the rate has steadily declined to the current rate of 4.3%.
In the United States the U-6 employment rate went through similar trends as the U-3 rate. In December of 2007, the U-6 rate was 8.8%. This rose and finally peaked at 17.1% in November 2009. Currently the U-6 unemployment rate is 8.3% as of September 2017.