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The real unemployment rate (U-6) is a broader definition of unemployment than the official unemployment rate (U-3). In November 2017, it was 8.0 percent. The real unemployment rate includes the underemployed, the marginally attached and discouraged workers.
The U-3 is the rate most often reported in the media. In the U-3 rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics only counts those who have looked for a job in the past four weeks as unemployed.
The U-6 rate adds those who are marginally attached and discouraged. It also includes part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs. For that reason, it is almost double the U-3 report.
In November 2017, the real unemployment rate (U-6) was 8.0 percent. That's almost double the widely reported unemployment rate (U-3) of 4.1 percent. Here's how to calculate both.
The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.