The national unemployment rate rose a 0.1 point in December, to 4.7 percent, the Labor Department announced Friday. That's a slight increase, but relying on that one headline number as an indicator of the economy's general direction ignores important information just below the surface.
Every month on "Jobs Friday," the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a slew of data, each of which provides its own perspective on the nation's employment situation. Economists look past the official unemployment rate — that 4.7 percent figure, also known as the "U-3" — to other metrics that give their own nuanced view of the jobs in the country.
One of those figures is called the U-6 rate, which has a broader definition of unemployment than the U-3 does. In December, that number fell 0.1 point, to 9.2 percent.