Broader Unemployment rates going back to 1900

Nelson Andrews compared historical versions of unemployment statistics with the modern U3 and U6 versions, published as “Historical Unemployment in Relationship to Today”.

Based on that research, he was able to generate a mathematical formula to calculate U3 and U6 unemployment for the entire period since 1900. He found that at the peak of the Great Depression, U3 was 25.2%. U6 was 37.6%.

Note – in the 1980s U6 peaked at about 20%. So this last recession peaked at 17.5%. This last recession had unemployment peak lower than the recession of the 1980s. If we are not calling the 1980s recession a depression then we are also not calling this one a depression. The most recent situation is bad but unemployment is not as bad in some measures versus the worst in the 1980s

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