US government unemployment stats. Are part time jobs counted the same as full time jobs?

When the official unemployment rate is calculated, are people that have only part time jobs where they might only work 20 or fewer hours a week counted the same as people who work full time (40 hours a week)?

Is there ever any breakdown given between full time and part time jobs created when the new employment numbers are released?

Yes, they’re counted the same.

The official rate just looks at whether people are working, not the type of job. They check whether people are in the labor force or not, and then whether they have a job or not. No distinction is made between the quality of jobs. If you’re interested, see here for lots more detail on the definitions and methodology.

Sort of?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of part-time employment. But that’s not part of the normal unemployment rate.

The BLS also provides data on broader measures of unemployment, beyond the official unemployment rate. The official measure is the U3. The very broadest measure, called the U6, includes as underemployed people who are working fewer hours than they would like to work. But no distinction is made for people who are working part-time, and are happy to work part-time. They’re working as much as they’d like, so they aren’t included in any measure of labor underutilization.


Does U-6 include “discouraged” job seekers? They are included in U-5, but I don’t see them listed on the U-6 description.

Yes, they’re included. There’s a little note there that clarifies that.

Discouraged workers are a subset of the marginally attached. As with the U-5, the U-6 includes all marginally attached workers, and so includes all discouraged workers.