We need a new unemployment/underemployment metric.
In the mass survey that is done to determine U3 and U6, we should ask people this question:
Do you have a permanent employment situation that you anticipate having for at least the next (fill in the blank number of years), that pays you well enough both in terms of salary, wages, and also health benefits, such that you can afford to maintain a spouse and at least two dependent children, and also either purchase a house or rent a requisite sized apartment in an area that is part of a quality public school district?
Yes, then you are “Affordable Family Formation” employed, if no, then not.
As it is now, you can be counted as “employed” if you’re working one hour per week at minimum wage at an “above board” job.
For the record, the last time I would have been able to answer Yes to that question was early November 2010. Between then and starting in on Todd’s campaign, I subsisted on the last few months of the job I knew I was losing, then temp/accounting jobs. If Todd would have won the election, I could have answered “Yes” at this moment. But the menial job I’m doing in lieu of being a Senate staffer means I’d have to answer no.