Underemployment in Appalachia and the Rest of the United States

Author(s): Mark Price and Howard Wial
Author Organization(s): Keystone Research Center

Conventional unemployment rates provide an incomplete measure of local labor market conditions, especially in poor rural regions. Unemployment, for example, does not include involuntary part-time workers; nor does it include discouraged workers who stop seeking work because they cannot find jobs. To get a more complete picture of labor markets in Appalachia, this data brief contains estimates of underemployment in Appalachia by state and by demographic group for each year from 1996 to 2004. These estimates are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Although Appalachia per se is not identified in the CPS (and Displace Workers Survey), we construct a CPS sub-sample that approximates the Appalachian region of each state using the metropolitan geographic identifiers that are available. impact of displacement than on developing a comprehensive and strategic long-term response.