The BLS reports today that January lost 598,000 jobs in the United States, pushing U3 to 7.6%. This isn't a very scary figure, which is why they report it in the news. U6 is much scarier- 13.9%. But I contend that neither of these tell the real story from a "the economy should provide first level Maslow needs to the people" point of view.
Instead, I propose that the real story is answered by the question, what is the ratio of dependents (non-labor people) to workers (people with jobs). This includes, of course, sole-income investors (those who rely on dividends from investment as their sole source of income), stay-at-home parents, the disabled and sick, and children all as dependents. It also includes all the unemployed as dependents, if you don't have income from a job then you're living off of the income of other people in one form or another for the most part.
Thus, U7 is:
Based on the link above, employment is 142,099,000. Last Census estimate puts our total estimated population at 303,824,640. This gives us a U7 of53.23%.
53% of our population, give or take a percentage point due to all the estimates and seasonally-adjusted numbers in the source data, is living off of the labor of 47% of our population, give or take a percentage point. That's the budget- the wages of that 47%, there isn't a dime more of non-debt funds in the country, and given the way some employers have been acting in the last century or so, a good amount of those wages are also really debt.
Kind of shows how we got ourselves into this insolvency trap, doesn't it?