I think that number can be a mismoner. Ther are one hell of a lot of people that ONLY work seasonal jobs. Once the season is over, they can collect, knowing full well they are not going to get another job. I see it here in MN. There is a load of kids (young adults) right now collecting....free money. Why should they seek another job while collecting beeny's and living at home. Spring is right around the corner, benefits will stop, and they'll go back to work....unless of course the state or feds decide to extend the benefits.
I don't know the requirements for attaining benefits, especially how many weeks one must work in order to collect.
Statistics on umemployment are derived from Current Population Survey data, a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Basically someone is counted as unemployed if they do not have a job but are actively looking for one. Collecting unemployment benefits is not a factor in determining whether a person is unemployed, nor is self-employment a consideration.
The data on nonfarm payrolls is taken from a monthly survey of about 150,000 businesses and government entities. This survey, the Current Employment Statistics survey, is also conducted by BLS.
The official state of Michigan definition of unemployed is as follows: an employed person is someone who did not earn any wages during the survey week, including the 12th of the month, and was able, available and actively seeking work during the 30-day period preceeding the survey.
Check the official state of Michigan homesite for unemployment statistics and definitions if you want more info.
I manage Payroll and HR for a company with about 300 employees. Every month I send a report (number of employees, hours worked, gross payroll)to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that they combine with many others like mine to generate at least some of the data they publish.
As an aside, it used to be 500 employees (retail outlets)but due to the impact to our bottom line from the wonderful minimum wage increases the past couple of years, as well as inflation in other fixed costs, it's down to 300 and I believe that it will decrease by about 30% by the end of this year.
I had a typo but maybe you caught it. The definition should say "an unemployed person is someone who ..."
To answer your question, the unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the total number of people in the work force (which includes both employed and unemployed people). To get this info, you need precise definitions of who should be counted as being in the workforce and their work status--either employed or unemployed.