All things considered, the U.S. has done a decent job of addressing the jobs crisis of the last few years. The jobless rate in the U.S. is just 6.2 percent, well below the double-digit peak it reached in 2009. In the eurozone, by contrast, the unemployment rate is 12 percent — and it isn’t coming down, the result of a succession of policy mistakes that have facilitated an epic economic depression. But while the U.S. has used fiscal and monetary stimulus to bring down the headline unemployment rate, there are still a whopping 7.5 million people working part-time who want full-time jobs. And for the sake of the economic recovery, the U.S. government must do more to help these part-time workers. The headline unemployment rate — U-3 in the jargon of the Labor Department, shown in blue in the graph below — merely measures those who are looking for work. A more complete accounting of workers without full-time jobs — U-6, also known as the underemployment rate, shown in red — includes part-time workers seeking full-time work and those who have dropped out of the labor force altogether.
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