The official unemployment rate shows the number of jobless adults who were actively looking for work within the past four weeks, as a percentage of the total number of workers in the labor force. But it doesn’t distinguish part-time jobs from full-time jobs or reveal anything about the quality of those jobs. In fact, the unemployment rate ignores millions of underemployed Americans whose jobs don’t match their skill level, education or availability to work.
In May 2018, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) published a paper which found the underemployment rate to be 11.1%. It defined the rate as including “those who work part time but want full-time work and those who have looked for work in the last year but have given up actively seeking it.
40 years ago the average man worked one job and could afford to support his family, his job were secure and his pay was the equivalent in buying terms to around $23 an hour today. Today millions of Americans earn far less than this. Today both parents usually have to work, often in multiple jobs, in unsecure jobs.
It is like looking at the stock market and claiming it proves Americans are doing well, yes if they have stocks and shares but 70% of these are owned by the top 10%, meaning that for 90% this only means that the rich are getting richer.