The Economic Stress Index is at 5.11 in early August 2017, down from 5.08 in early July, and 6.09 in early June. The lower the index, the better the economy is. The current 5.11 Index is below the historical average of 7.5 (years 1973 through 2016).
Underemployment (the U6) averaged 8.53 the last three months ending with the July 2017 jobs report released early August, and Gross Domestic Product (“The Economy”) was 2.08% higher the last quarter compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Median Household Income was 1.34% higher the last three months of available data (March-April-May) compared to the same three months a year earlier, according to Sentier Research. (Sentier has yet to release its June 2017 data.)
The August 2017 Index adds up as follows:
8.53 Underemployment is the base number
Deduct 2.08 for a positive GDP
Deduct 1.34 for a positive Household Income
5.11 Economic Stress Index for early August 2017
The U-6 counts the regular unemployed (known as the official Unemployment Rate or U-3), plus those marginally attached to the workforce (halfway looking for jobs), plus those who have part time jobs because they can’t find full-time jobs due to the state of the economy. The Economic Stress Index uses a rolling 3-month average of the U-6.
The year-over-year/12 month percent change in U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The year-over-year change in estimated Household Income based on a three month moving average.