The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5 percent in December. But what does that number really mean?
Economists look past the "main" unemployment number (also known as the "U-3 rate") to other indicators in the report that give a more nuanced view of the employment situation. On jobs days, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out a slew of figures, each of which measures a different part of the economy.
One of those data points is the U-6 rate. Many experts prefer the U-6 rate to the U-3 rate because it captures those employees who work part time but would like to be working full time.