The unemployment rate has now increased from a low of 3.4% in April to the current 3.9%. However, not all changes in the unemployment rate are created equally.

In this Economics Weekly, we look at the stock of unemployment and which flows are driving that increase. This can have important implications for policymakers to consider when thinking about the degree of strength or weakness depicted by just looking at changes in the unemployment rate on its own.

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Richard de Chazal, CFA, is a London-based macro analyst covering the U.S. economy and financial markets.