Real Unemployment Rises to 16.2% in June -- 25.3 Million People

July 8, 2011 - 5:12 PM

Obama Debt Showdown

President Barack Obama, with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, take part in a meeting with Congressional leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2011, to discuss the debt. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – The real unemployment rate rose to 16.2 percent in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday, marking a return to levels not seen since January 2011.

The “real” unemployment rate is technically a combination of three measures of unemployment: the unemployment rate, the number of people working part-time who want full-time work, and the number of people “marginally attached” to the workforce.

Those who have left the workforce but would still like to be employed are considered marginally attached.

This figure is considered a more complete measure of unemployment because it captures a broader spectrum of those affected by the weak economy. Merely counting those who apply for unemployment benefits as “unemployed” does not fully account for everyone who is out of work or underemployed.

Unemployment Benefits

In this June 15, 2011 photo, job seekers, right, receive feedback on their resume's at a job fair in Southfield, Mich. More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, adding to evidence that the labor market is weakening. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

This real unemployment rate – known as the U6 rate – has been climbing since February 2011 when it was at 15.9 percent. Real unemployment peaked in October of 2009 at 17.4 percent, before falling into the 16 percent range for much of 2010.

It now appears that the real unemployment rate is returning to its 2010 levels, trending upward after staying slightly below 16 percent from February to May.

The total number of people who were truly unemployed in June was 25.3 million -- the 14.1 million who were unemployed, the 2.7 million who were marginally attached to the workforce and the 8.6 million who were underemployed.