Many people believe this presidential election will be decided based upon the condition of our economy, and more specifically, based on conditions in the job market.|
-- Labor Force Participation Rate -- This ratio is defined as those people working or looking for work as a percentage of the population, and many economists view this figure as a more complete measure of the economy's health than the Unemployment Rate. The Labor Force Participation Rate is currently 63.6 percent, a 31 year low.
-- Unemployment Rate -- This ratio is defined as those people who have sought work in the prior four weeks and those temporarily laid off, divided by the head count of the labor force. The unemployment rate has remained historically very high (over 8 percent for over 40 consecutive months) and recently dropped below 8 percent for the first time in over four years.
-- The U6 Ratio -- This ratio is considered the broadest measure of joblessness, and includes everyone in the unemployment rate plus "Marginally Attached Workers — (those who say they want to work but are not looking at present, and people who want full-time work but are working part-time because that is all the work they can find), divided by the head count of the labor force. This ratio has hovered around 15 percent for the past several years, historically a very high rate.
David T. Roberts,