Texas Labor Underutilization Figures Released

The official unemployment rate includes only those people who are actively looking for work. For Texas, that averaged 8% over the course of 2010 — uncomfortably high, but better than most states. But that’s only part of the story.

Cheryl Abbot is a regional economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Dallas.

“If we add in a number of different other types of workers — like discouraged workers or people employed part time, on an involuntary basis — the unemployment rate jumps up to 14.4%, and that is the highest on record since this particular series began back in 2003.”

The series, short-handed as U-6, is the BLS’ broadest measure of joblessness.

Texas ranks nineteenth out of the fifty states plus the District of Columbia on the U-6 list. North Dakota has the best showing at over seven percent. Worst off is Nevada at nearly 24 percent.

underutilization graph

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