Our mission is to improve the economic well-being of middle- and lower-income Americans through research and education.

LISEP produces original economic research to provide a more accurate picture of the wellbeing of middle- and lower-income families.

Our research includes new economic indicators for both unemployment and earnings. Our statistics aim to provide policymakers and the public a more transparent view into the economic situation of all Americans as compared with the traditionally relied upon metrics. LISEP also seeks to guide and support policy initiatives that increase opportunities for struggling Americans.

Unemployment

True Rate of Unemployment

LISEP’s True Rate of Unemployment measures the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is functionally unemployed. It is updated monthly.

True
Rate of Unemployment*

25.1%

February 2021

* As defined by the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP)
Headline
Rate of Unemployment*

6.2%

February 2021

* As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
EARNINGS

True Weekly Earnings

LISEP’s True Weekly Earnings measures the weekly earnings of all members of the workforce — including part time and jobless who are seeking work. It is updated quarterly.

True
Weekly Earnings*

$

797

$41,444
Annualized

Q4 2020

* As defined by the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP)
Headline
Weekly Earnings*

$

984

$51,168
Annualized

Q4 2020

* As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The graph below shows the inflation-adjusted True Weekly Earnings of the median worker in the U.S. labor force compared with inflation-adjusted GDP over the last 20 years. We can see that although the U.S. has seen considerable growth as a nation, the general worker has seen only about one-fifth of this growth.

2005
2010
2015
2020
2000