Dismal Data

Broader Unemployment: 14.8 Percent

Today the official unemployment rate today topped 8 percent—up from 7.6 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February—but even more troubling: The broader unemployment rate, which is the most comprehensive unemployment measure, rose 0.9 percent to 14.8 percent in February. The broader unemployment rate includes the 8.1 percent figure plus people who want a job but have stopped looking and people working part-time because they can’t find full-time work. That means about one out of seven Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Some economists think the figure will top out at 20 percent.