"The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.2% from 8.3% last month, and the broader U-6 unemployment/underemployment rate dropped to 14.5% from 14.9%, while the economy added only 120,000 jobs overall and 121,000 jobs added in the private sector
The simplest measure of unemployment is to count the number of people who want a job but are out of work, regardless of whether they last searched for work in the prior 4 weeks (measured by the official U-3 rate), prior year (measured by the U-5 rate), or longer than a year ago, and divide that into that number plus the number of people employed. That measurement, unfortunately, has only been possible since 1994.
For March, that would be 18,972,000 (the 12,673,000 officially unemployed and part of the workforce plus the 6,299,000 who are not part of the workforce but who want a job), divided into 161,006,000 (the 154,707,000 officially part of the workforce plus the 6,299 who want jobs). That would put the “simple” unemployment rate at 11.8%.
The good news – that is a tick lower than February’s 11.9% “simple” unemployment rate. The bad news – that is higher than any point between 1994, when this measure was first possible, and March 2009."