If underemployed workers counted …

I’ve written a little bit about the importance of tracking underemployment trends, and this is particularly important when those trends diverge from the headline unemployment rate.

This graph (12 month moving average of unadjusted monthly data) separates unemployed workers and underemployed workers. In recent years the number of unemployed workers has fallen slowly (partially due to falling labour force participation as Jim explains). The number of underemployed workers has not recovered at all from the sharp increase that we saw from the recent recession.

U6Trends

The gap between the two numbers is getting wider, and is mostly due to a large number of underemployed part-time workers.

On average, there are now 2.8 million workers in Canada that are underemployed or unemployed. If underemployed workers counted, it would be clear that there hasn’t been a recovery for too many of us.

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