The official unemployment figures count the conventional number employed, those on involuntary part time, and discouraged workers. The official unemployment rate is 8.2%. If other categories are added, the unemployment rate rises by more than one percentage point.
Now we have another category: People who take early social security (and sacrifice higher pensions from later retirement) due to the fact that they cannot find jobs.
According to an analysis by Steve Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, about 200,000 more people filed initial claims in 2009 and 2010 than the agency had predicted before the recession, and he said the trend most likely continued in 2011 and 2012, though that is harder to quantify. The most likely reason is joblessness. If we assume that as many people were forced into early retirement by unemployment in 2011 and 2012, the total number of “forced” early retirements would be 400,000.
If these forced retirements were added to the unemployment rate, it would rise by two tenths of one percent; namely, from 8.2 to 8.4 percent.