Political rhetoric about jobs often gets packed into one number: the unemployment rate. The key to interpreting that number’s true meaning is knowing what the unemployment rate doesn’t measure: underemployed and discouraged workers.
Low unemployment rates are generally good, but can be deceiving if they disguise the realities of underemployment. That’s because the “official” rate doesn’t account for people who may be working part-time, for example, but would like to work more.
Although only one unemployment rate is typically, the federal government calculates six different rates for each state. The following visualizations show all of them from 2003 to 2014. Compare each rate over the years to see how Vermont’s annual averages stack up against national trends.
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