CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
Annual average unemployment rate of the civilian labor force, 2011.
The unemployment rate is a good indication of the state of the economy as well as the financial stability of families. Without income earned through employment, most families will have difficulty financing basic consumption and paying down debt, let alone saving for the future. The Scorecard’s liquid asset poverty measure shows that almost half of households in the US lack adequate savings to cover expenses at the poverty level for just three months if they lost their jobs.
The unemployment rate measured here follows the U.S. Department of Labor’s official definition of unemployment, in which a person is defined as unemployed if they do not have a job, are available for work and have been actively looking for a job in the prior four weeks. This measure does not capture any information about the number of discouraged workers who have stopped actively looking for work, nor does it reflect instances when a part-time worker would prefer to be employed full-time.
The Scorecard uses the most recently available annual unemployment rates for purposes of ranking. The monthly rates fluctuated considerably in 2011 and early 2012. The national unemployment rate was 7.8% in December 2012.
Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization by State, 2011 Annual Averages. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012.