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Unemployment is at record lows — here’s how it’s calculated

The unemployment rate is at a record low. Like a 50-year, 3.6% low.

The figure, calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau and released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the beginning of every month, is commonly used to gauge the health of the U.S. economy. If it's low, investors and consumers tend to grow more confident, leaving people more willing to spend money. Conversely, people tend to guard their cash if it starts to rise.

Some people think the government tracks every employed and unemployed worker in the country to calculate the unemployment rate. That's wrong. Others think it's based on the number of people receiving unemployment insurance — also incorrect.

It's a much more complicated process that involves finding the answers the old fashioned way: knocking on doors and making phone calls.

Save yourself the guessing and check out our video to learn how the unemployment rate is really measured.

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

source: CNBC


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