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N.C. hits record jobless rate using lesser-known estimate

Federal jobless data issued this morning shows that North Carolina's unemployment rate has reached an all-time high using the government's most comprehensive measure.

The state's jobless rate was 17.9 percent in the third quarter, according to the so-called U6 index issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The previous high was 17.8 percent, set last year.

The U6 index includes people who are not counted in the more commonly cited jobless measure, the U3, which shows a 10.5 percent jobless rate for the third quarter.

The U6 was not tracked until 2005 and is still relatively obscure. Because it takes a broader view of unemployment, some consider the U6 index a more accurate picture of the national and regional economic situation. The U6 rate generally tends to be about 75 percent higher than the standard measure of unemployment, or U3 index.


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