A bill introduced in Congress last week would force the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to report the “true” unemployment rate. The bill has more than a dozen sponsors.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (pictured above), R-Calif., introduced H.R. 1876, similar to the measure he introduced in 2012 which would change the primary measure of unemployment from the ‘U3’ to the ‘U5.’ BLS calculates U1 through U6, as Forbes notes:
- U1: Percent of Civilian Labor Force Unemployed 15 Weeks and over
- U2: Unemployment Rate – Job Losers
- U3: Unemployment Rate
- U4: All of U3, plus discouraged workers
- U5: All of U4, plus marginally attached workers
- U6: All of U5, plus total employed part time for economic reasons
While BLS calculates every figure, Hunter’s bill would ensure the U5 would be presented to the general public as the official unemployment rate.
In March, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent using the U3 standard. But using Hunter’s metric, the rate would increase to 6.7 percent. Still, the San Diego-area congressman does not think this is about so-called ‘gotcha’ politics.
“[I]t makes me look bad too when unemployment is sliding … it makes the Republican Congress, the president and the Democratic Senate – anybody who is an elected representative and in charge look bad. I don’t think it goes one way,” Hunter said of his original proposal on Fox News in 2012.
Hunter amplified the case on his Facebook page Tuesday.
I introduced legislation to change the way the federal government reports unemployment. We shouldn’t only count those who are out of work and looking for a job–as currently the case. There are a lot of Americans, whether they are discouraged or face other challenges, who aren’t factored in the monthly U3 rate. They should be counted too–otherwise, true unemployment goes unrecognized.
Hunter has 15 members cosponsoring the bill, which has been referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee. They include:
- Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga.
- Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.
- Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J.
- Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo.
- Rep. Brett Guthrie, R- Ky.
- Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill.
- Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va.
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
- Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.
- Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.
- Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.
- Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind.
- Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark.
- Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.
- Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont.
h/t: The Blaze
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth