recently reported that the unemployment rate crossed the 10% barrier
, and readers pointed out that the figure wasn’t high enough by some measurements.
In most reports unemployment statistics come from the U-3 numbers calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
. Often missing from these reports is the U-6 unemployment curve, which measures the amount of workers who are underemployed. The U-6 number hit 17.5% in October.
However, folks in Pembroke, Ill. don’t care about the U-6 figure. The unemployment rate in Pembroke reached 46% in October, according to media reports.
It’s a small town of about 3,000 people, and the number should fall. High school graduates are leaving. Burned-down houses are ignored. The only businesses are gas stations, and one just recently closed. There is no police department.
Help could be on the way for Pembroke, though, when the town applied for millions of dollars in federal grants to build low-income housing.
People in Pembroke would like to use the U-6 number, too.
Write to Jon Prior