Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Trade the unemployment rate


Photo Go to Article  A line of job seekers stretches out of a hotel doorway as they wait to enter a job fair in Los Angeles, California July 23, 2008.

It might seem a safe bet that the number of people out of work in the U.S. will head higher in September following the job losses on Wall Street. But even if that’s the case, it won’t feed through to the unemployment rate immediately. That’s because to count as unemployed, respondents to a government survey of households who are out of work must say they have actively looked for work in the last four weeks. Alister Bull discussed the vagaries of the unemployment rate in this analysis.

There might be fewer economists on Wall Street to forecast the September number, but you can place a bet on whether the rate will rise from August’s five-year high of 6.1 percent via our news prediction game on Click on the live graph below to jump to the Reuters/Hubdub marketplace. Will the U.S. unemployment rate rise in September from August’s 6.1 percent?