Challenge to Definition of Unemployment

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news“Well, I got a new gig for a couple of nights during the week,” says a friend.  Should you raise your glass and toast the news?  Or should you grimace at the lukewarm news?  Although plenty of people are not officially unemployed, plenty of working adults are not working nearly enough.

In a recent press release, Decision Toolbox, a national recruiting firm, announced that from their perspective, they can confirm that official unemployment statistics do not accurately portray the grim economic reality. When you add the underemployed into the mix, the numbers are looking more like a jolting thirty percent unemployment rate.

“Additionally, a steadily growing number of workers are underemployed,” continues Shepherd. “Though the underemployed are working,” says Kim Shepherd, CEO of Decision Toolbox, “they are taking part-time jobs, or are in jobs that don’t fully employ their skills. Underemployment, along with unemployment, is widely seen as a force slowing the economic recovery. Despite its devastating effect on U.S. workers and the economy as a whole, underemployment is missed by most official definitions and measurements of unemployment.” Shepherd’s definition of unemployment as “out of YOUR work” transforms conversations about working in today’s economy.


By Marie Larsen