Well, there actually are a number of unemployment rates. The official one most often cited, it can be argued, is not sufficient.
Actually, there are six different ones. The problem is that a general change from the unemployment rate would mean that comparisons would be difficult if not impossible.
The usual unemployment rate is U-3, which includes a percent of the civilian labor force. The most recent figure was 7.9 percent.
The alternative unemployment rate that is most often mentioned is U-6. This includes the total number of unemployed, plus all those marginally attached to the labor force, plus those working part-time jobs who would like to be working full-time.
Itís 14.6 percent.
The percentage of prime workers, those ages 25 to 54, working or even looking for work, has fallen to a 26-year low.
It may not be a depression, but this recovery doesnít feel all that great.
Low-wage jobs have grown three times faster than mid-wage and high-wage jobs.
Americans like to beat ourselves up over our various shortfalls. When it comes to education, itís not as bad as it seems.
As described in The Wall Street Journal, 81 percent of U.S. engineering graduations are ďimmediately employable.Ē
That compares to just 25 percent of Indian grads and 10 percent of Chinese grads.
American graduates are more creative and innovative while the Asian students have been trained in rote learning and memorization.
Another good sign: One-third of the nationís 25- to 29-year-olds have at least a bachelorís degree. It was less than 20 percent in the early 1970s.
The share of high school graduates in that age group has surged, too, reaching 90 percent, up from 78 percent in 1971.
College graduates still are more likely to earn significantly higher wages.
The premium for those with college degrees has increased by 40 percent since 1983, reports The New York Times.
The degree means more to an employer than the education.
It means the ability to learn on the job, it means the ability to persist through the frustrations of college life, it means learning to delay gratification, it allows for more time to mature during the crucial young adult years.
America still has the greatest college system in the world by far.