In 2020, the broadest measure of labor underutilization in New Jersey reached 15.1%, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday. That category, designated U-6, includes the unemployed, workers employed part-time for economic reasons and those marginally attached to the labor force.
In contrast, the U-6 rate for the United States in 2020 topped out at 13.6%.
Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that the six alternative measures of labor underutilization in New Jersey were significantly higher than the rates recorded a year ago. The state’s U-6 rate was just below 8% in 2019.
The official definition of unemployment — designated U-3 — includes all jobless people who are available to take a job and have actively sought work in the past four weeks. In New Jersey, 9.6% of the labor force was unemployed, as measured by U-3 in 2020, significantly higher than the national rate of 8.1%.