The U.S. unemployment rate is currently 4.4%, nearly its lowest point in a decade. While the unemployment rate reflects the millions of Americans who are out of work and actively seeking employment, the measure does not fully capture the degree to which Americans are unable to find the jobs they want.
In addition to those seven million Americans captured by the traditional unemployment rate, there are millions more who are working part-time jobs because they could not find full-time employment, as well a large share of workers who have recently given up on their job search altogether and are now marginally attached to the workforce.
> Underemployment rate: 9.5%
> June unemployment rate: 5.0% (tied — 6th highest)
> Average wage: $47,586 (24th highest)
> Labor force growth: 0.4% (16th smallest increase)
Some 9.5% of the Ohio labor force are underemployed, in line with the comparable share nationwide. The state’s labor underutilization is an improvement from one year ago, when 9.8% of the Ohio labor force were underemployed. While unemployment actually rose slightly from 4.8% to 5.0%, the share of workers who had withdrawn from the labor force fell substantially from 1.4% to 0.9% — accounting for the entirety of the decrease in the state’s labor underutilization rate. The number of employed workers in Ohio rose 0.3% in 2016, a fraction of the 1.7% increase nationwide.
The underemployment rate — a combination of unemployed job seekers, discouraged and other marginally attached workers, and people settling for part-time jobs as a share of the labor force — is a more comprehensive measure of labor underutilization, and this measure varies considerably across the country.
To determine the easiest and hardest states to find full-time work, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed underemployment rates in all 50 states with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The underemployment rate ranges from below 7% in some states to over 11% in others.