Annual Economic Stress Index

Year U6 GDP Income Stress
1973-2019 Average 10.09 - 2.72 - 0.41 = 6.96
2019 7.1 - 2.16 - 6.8 = -1.86
2018 7.26 - 3 - 0.88 = 3.38
2017 8.53 - 2.3 - 1.37 = 4.86
2016 9.7 - 1.7 - 3.13 = 4.87
2015 10.5 - 3.1 - 5.14 = 2.26
2014 12 - 2.52 - -1.53 = 11.01
2013 13.8 - 1.84 - 0.64 = 11.32
2012 14.7 - 2.24 - -0.18 = 12.64
2011 15.9 - 1.55 - -1.52 = 15.87
2010 16.7 - 2.6 - -2.23 = 16.37
2009 16.2 - -2.5 - -0.66 = 19.39
2008 10.5 - -0.1 - -3.6 = 14.20
2007 8.3 - 1.9 - 1.3 = 5.10
2006 8.2 - 2.9 - 0.7 = 4.60
2005 8.9 - 3.5 - 1.1 = 4.30
2004 9.6 - 3.8 - 0 = 5.80
2003 10.1 - 2.9 - 0 = 7.20
2002 9.6 - 1.7 - -1.1 = 9.00
2001 8.1 - 1 - -2.2 = 9.30
2000 7 - 4.1 - 0 = 2.90
1999 7.44 - 4.75 - 2.69 = 0.00
1998 8 - 4.4 - 3.5 = 0.10
1997 8.9 - 4.5 - 1.9 = 2.50
1996 9.7 - 3.8 - 1.2 = 4.70
1995 10.1 - 2.7 - 2.7 = 4.70
1994 10.9 - 4 - 0 = 6.90
1993 10.2 - 2.7 - -1 = 8.50
1992 10.8 - 3.7 - 0 = 7.10
1991 10 - -0.1 - -3.5 = 13.60
1990 8.2 - 1.9 - -1.7 = 8.00
1989 7.9 - 3.7 - 1.3 = 2.90
1988 8.4 - 4.2 - 0 = 4.20
1987 9.3 - 3.5 - 0 = 5.80
1986 10.3 - 3.5 - 4.2 = 2.60
1985 10.6 - 4.2 - 1.7 = 4.70
1984 11.2 - 7.3 - 2.8 = 1.10
1983 13.9 - 4.6 - 1.6 = 7.70
1982 14 - -1.9 - -1.4 = 17.30
1981 10.8 - 2.6 - -3.5 = 11.70
1980 10.1 - -0.2 - -5.5 = 15.80
1979 8.2 - 3.2 - -1 = 6.00
1978 8.5 - 5.6 - 3 = -0.10
1977 9.8 - 4.6 - 0.1 = 5.10
1976 10.5 - 5.4 - 2 = 3.10
1975 11.6 - -0.2 - 3 = 8.80
1974 7.9 - -0.5 - -5 = 13.40
1973 7 - 5.64 - 2.1 = -0.74
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U6 Explanation

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) and also those who have part time jobs because they can’t find full-time jobs due to the state of the economy. This is basically the broadest measure of the unemployment picture in the US. The monthly Economic Stress Index uses a rolling 3-month average of the Seasonally Unadjusted U-6.

GDP Explanation

The percent change in GDP of the latest quarter compared to the same quarter a year earlier. In the Annual section it is the annual percent change in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the current year compared to the full year before.

Income Explanation

We look at the year over year change in Disposal Personal Income for the monthly report and at Household Income by the Census for the annual report. The monthly report looks at a three-month average, such as this year’s fist quarter compared to last year’s first quarter, while the annual report compares the full year-over-year change. (Until 2020, we used the monthly Household Income data from Sentier Research for the monthly report. However, Sentier stopped releasing it so we are using Disposal Personal Income minus government transfers such as social security payments. The report is released monthly by the Commerce Department.)