How inflation and unemployment numbers are calculated : Planet Money When someone says "the economy is doing well"—what does that even mean? Like, for workers, for employers, for the country as a whole? According to what calculation? How do you put a number on it?

The world of economics is filled with all sorts of "measuring sticks." GDP. Inflation. Unemployment. Consumer sentiment. Over time, all kinds of government agencies, universities and private companies have come up with different ways to measure facets of the economy. These measures factor into all kinds of huge decisions—things like government policy, business strategies, maybe even your personal career choices or investments.

On today's show, we're going to lift the curtain on two of these yardsticks. We are going to meet the people tasked with sticking a number on two huge measures of our economic well being: the official U.S. government inflation report and the monthly unemployment and jobs numbers. Come along and see how the measures get made.

This episode was hosted by Darian Woods, Stacey Vanek Smith, and Wailin Wong. It was produced by Julia Ritchey and Jess Kung with help from James Sneed. Engineering by Gilly Moon and James Willetts. It was fact-checked by Michael He and Corey Bridges, and edited by Kate Concannon and Viet Le. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in
Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

Indicator exploder: jobs and inflation

Indicator exploder: jobs and inflation

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When someone says "the economy is doing well"—what does that even mean? Like, for workers, for employers, for the country as a whole? According to what calculation? How do you put a number on it?

The world of economics is filled with all sorts of "measuring sticks." GDP. Inflation. Unemployment. Consumer sentiment. Over time, all kinds of government agencies, universities and private companies have come up with different ways to measure facets of the economy. These measures factor into all kinds of huge decisions—things like government policy, business strategies, maybe even your personal career choices or investments.

On today's show, we're going to lift the curtain on two of these yardsticks. We are going to meet the people tasked with sticking a number on two huge measures of our economic well being: the official U.S. government inflation report and the monthly unemployment and jobs numbers. Come along and see how the measures get made.

This episode was hosted by Darian Woods, Stacey Vanek Smith, and Wailin Wong. It was produced by Julia Ritchey and Jess Kung with help from James Sneed. Engineering by Gilly Moon and James Willetts. It was fact-checked by Michael He and Corey Bridges, and edited by Kate Concannon and Viet Le. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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