Tough Competition: Over 25 Million Americans Competing For Full Time Jobs
September 5th, 2011
If you don’t have full time employment, then you’re facing some tough competition.
The roughly 14 million unemployed Americans that make up the 9.1% official U-3 unemployment figure aren’t competing just with themselves – they’re also facing competition from the nearly 9 million “underemployed” Americans who have part time work, but are looking for full time labor:
And the unemployed [14 million] will face another source of competition once the economy improves: Roughly 2.6 million people who aren’t counted as unemployed because they’ve stopped looking for work. Once they start looking again, they’ll be classified as unemployed. And the unemployment rate could rise.
Intensified competition for jobs means unemployment could exceed its historic norm of 5 percent to 6 percent for several more years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects the rate to exceed 8 percent until 2014. The White House predicts it will average 9 percent next year, when President Barack Obama runs for re-election.
Combined, the 14 million officially unemployed; the [8.8 million] “underemployed” part-timers who want full-time work; and “discouraged” people who have stopped looking make up 16.2 percent of working-age Americans.
The Labor Department compiles the figure to assess how many people want full-time work and can’t find it — a number the unemployment rate alone doesn’t capture.
In a healthy economy, this broader measure of unemployment stays below 10 percent. Since the Great Recession officially ended more than two years ago, the rate has been 15 percent or more.