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(ECONOMICS) Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes six estimates of unemployment. The others are U-1, U-2, U-3, U-5, and U-6. Eurostat publishes one monthly estimate of unemployment for the European Union, which is approximately midway between U-3 and U-4.

The unemployment statistics for the USA are collected through a monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) (also known as the household survey) and an establishment survey.
U-4 includes all individuals that are unemployed as well as people known as discouraged workers. These people are then reported as a percentage of the combined civilian labor force and discouraged workers. Discouraged workers are defined as unemployed workers who have searched for employment within the last 12 months that have cited an economic reason for no longer looking for work. These reasons could range from “There just aren’t any job openings in my area.” to “I keep getting turned down for interviews, so why bother?”

{Nebraska Workforce Trends|October 2009}
by Abu Yahya July 15, 2010
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