U-7 includes everyone in the government’s U-3: everyone who said they wanted a job and had looked for one in the past 4 weeks. It also adds everyone who said they wanted one, hadn’t looked in the past 4 weeks, but had in the past year. (These people are included in the government’s most inclusive statistic, U-6). But we also add people who hadn’t looked in the past year but still said they wanted a job and would take one. Finally, we add people working part-time, but say they are looking for full-time work, like “consultants” I know, who may have worked only one hour in the week the government survey taker came calling, but are still tallied as officially “employed.”
Unfortunately, the more inclusive measure of un- and underemployment that we follow — and have dubbed “U-7” — rose. That is, the number of Americans who said they “want a job” but haven’t looked for work in more than 4 weeks swelled by some 200,000. These are the discouraged – including, I suppose, some folks who may be lying about their intentions. But in any case, they’re out of work and yet not counted in the official unemployment number. I devised U-7 to count them back in.