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Forum: Heated Debates


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May 3rd, 2007, 07:48 AM
ChasingClio's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 611
I can post this somewhere else if this is the wrong place for it, but you guys are all so smart, I thought I'd ask you.

I'm trying to figure out how the unemployment rate for a specific area is calculated, but the one article I found online was so complicated I didn't understand it.

Can anyone explain it in simple terms? ('Cause I'm a simple kind of girl.)

For an example, our local paper recently printed an article that said our county's unemployment rate is 4%. But, how do they come up with that number?[/b]
This is what I remember from my econ class.... no guarantees that it will make sense or be entirely correct:
They take a random sample of households and ask questions to determine who in the household is in the labor force and of those, who is employed and who is unemployed. For the purposes of the figure, the labor force includes anyone who is able to work (elderly, disabled, those in school are excluded). Unemployed people are those who have been recently laid off or are not working but have been actively looking for work in the past six weeks (I think, not sure of the time frame). Then they just divide the number that qualifies as "unemployed" by the total number of the labor force in the area. Is that what you were asking?
Kim: MA in History finally accomplished May 2010!, Wife to Alan, a Washington DC firefighter, Mommy to Savannah (9-15-04), Felicity (2-17-08), and Samson (1-8-09)
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