The Unemployment Rate Is Still a Little Higher Than It Was In 2007

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Inspired by this, here’s an interesting chart:

This shows the unemployment rate by education level starting at its low point in 2007 and going through today. For high school dropouts, unemployment is now the same as it was at the top of the housing boom. However, unemployment for everyone else is still about half a point higher than it was in 2007. This suggests that despite the headline unemployment rate being at its 2007 low, there’s still some labor slack in the system.

So how is it that the headline number is the same as it was in 2007 but its constituent parts are higher? It’s all about demographics and disaggregation. There are more college grads and high school grads than there were ten years ago, and they bring down the overall number. However, if you disaggregate, you find that we still have a little ways to go before we truly reach 2007 levels. If you’re interested, there’s more about how disaggregation works here.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

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