There were 93,688,000 Americans not participating in the labor force in February, a decline of 374,000 individuals from the previous month, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.
Overall, the labor force participation rate for all Americans improved from 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent in February and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent in February.
This measure does not account for those individuals who have dropped out of the labor force. The unemployment rate simply measures the percent of those who did not have a job but actively sought one over the month.
The “real” unemployment rate, otherwise known as the U-6 measure, was 9.7 percent, which declined from 9.9 percent in January. Some Democrats such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen have said that this measure is more representative of the labor market because it accounts for discouraged workers and those working part time instead of full time for economic reasons.
According to the bureau, there were 7,815,000 Americans unemployed in February, which represented an increase of 24,000 from the 7,791,000 not employed in January.
There were nearly six million Americans working part-time in February, but not by choice. The 5,988,000 part-time workers remained unchanged from January. According to the bureau, involuntary part-time workers are “persons who indicated that they would like to work full time but were working part time (1 to 34 hours) because of an economic reason, such as their hours were cut back or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”