The “real” unemployment rate is actually 10.5%—almost double the government’s official figures. Or at least, that’s according to Vermont Senator and Democrat nominee Bernie Sanders.
“When you talk about the economy, we also have to have an honest assessment of unemployment in America.” Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, told a crowd of 7,500 people gathered at a presidential campaign rally in Portland, Maine. (Source: Bernie Sanders Rally in Portland, Maine, last accessed July 16, 2015.)
According to the latest government figure, the U.S. economy generated 223,000 jobs in the month of June. As Sanders stated, “Once a month the government publishes a set of figures, and the last figures they published said that official unemployment was 5.4%.”
In recent months, as the unemployment rate is dropping, government officials say that the labor market is getting stronger and the economy is nearing full employment. A drop in the unemployment rate may seem to be great news—an indication that the labor market may finally be strengthening. However, Bernie Sanders has a different view of the labor market.
“The real unemployment, if you include those people who have given up looking for work and the millions of others who are working part-time 20, 25 hours a week when they want to work full-time, when you put all of that together, real unemployment is 10.5%.”