Shadowstats is a valuable resource on this kind of stuff, but most of the information is behind a paywall. (understandably)
How many people are really out of work? The answer is surprisingly difficult to ascertain. For reasons that are likely ideological at least in part, official unemployment figures greatly under-report the true number of people lacking necessary full-time work.
That the “reserve army of labor” is quite large goes a long way toward explaining the persistence of stagnant wages in an era of increasing productivity.
How large? Across North America, Europe and Australia, the real unemployment rate is approximately double the “official” unemployment rate.
The “official” unemployment rate in the United States, for example, was 5.5 percent for February 2015. That is the figure that is widely reported. But the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of various other unemployment rates, the most pertinent being its “U-6” figure. The U-6 unemployment rate counts all who are counted as unemployed in the “official” rate, plus discouraged workers, the total of…
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