Saturday, August 8, 2009

How the Unemployment Rate is Determined

There are many myths and misconceptions, and Krugman does a nice job summing it all up.

The U-3 unemployment rate does not measure the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. The rate is determined by a household survey. The main problem with the survey, as far as I can tell, is that it is based upon receiving answers to a sensitive and personal question. Cultural and gender differences in talking about, and admitting to, being unemployed may be shifting data in ways we don't fully understand.

The payrolls report is separate of the unemployment report, and based upon a survey of businesses.

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