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Recent Increases in Unemployment


AFTER A FALSE ALARM last fall, the long-predicted increase in unemployment began with unexpected sharpness at the beginning of 1970. In March, the last month for which data are available, the number of unemployed was almost a million higher than the level of March 1969. The purpose of this short report is to examine the pattern of unemployment last fall and winter. The data presented here are drawn exclusively from the monthly household survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census and compiled by the Department of Labor. Although only about one household in a thousand is included in it, the survey provides a uniform and complete view of the U.S. labor market. Data from other sources—relating to unemployment insurance and payrolls—are seriously incomplete in their coverage, and may therefore present a misleading picture in periods of rapid change.

Robert E. Hall

Robert and Carole McNeil Joint Hoover Senior Fellow and Professor of Economics - Stanford University

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