The Sad Truth about Our “Record-Low” Unemployment Rate

Employment trends expert offers an enlightening viewpoint of our national employment rate 


When The White House released January’s jobs report, many people were excited to see that the unemployment rate was being touted as the lowest since May 1969. But employment trends expert Rob Wilson says that the numbers fail to tell the whole story.

“The official unemployment rate for January was 3.4 percent, but I would estimate that the unemployment rate is actually triple that,” says Wilson, President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm with locations across the country.

Wilson says that the unemployment rate is unreliable and builds false economic hope.

“The unemployment rate counts people like freelancers who may only be working a handful of hours a week as being employed,” says Wilson. “But these workers often do not have a livable income and aren’t fully employed. It also doesn’t count people who are not looking for jobs, such as stay-at-home parents who may not be able to get a job currently because they are too busy raising children. It also discounts the number of people who may have been looking for a job but might have given up due to lack of opportunities.”

Wilson says that nearly 40% of Americans aren’t even included in the labor force.

“From disabilities to active military to aforementioned stay-at-home parents, a vast swath of people aren’t included in the unemployment rate. Yet there is still a big focus on the unemployment rate as if it is truly indicative of the health of the economy.”

Wilson says that instead of relying too heavily on the misleading unemployment rate, we should focus on the quality of those jobs and true labor force recovery.

“President Biden’s administration is holding up the unemployment rate and using it as ‘proof’ of how the economy is improving, but those of us who work in the employment sector know how inaccurate this number is and how uneven and unstable our economic growth has been in recent years,” says Wilson.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at