The National Bureau of Economic Research declared the official end to the Great Recession in June 2009, but the effects of the Great Recession are still impacting people today. Continuing negative impacts create a need for a tool to assess the local economic situation of people. The Misery Index measures the impact to people, not the macro economy, and provides CEDBR with a valuable tool for analyzing the current, local economic situation.
The Misery Index was created by Arthur Okun in the 1970s. It was designed to measure the misery of people by combining the unemployment rate and the inflation rate. In general, a higher value reflects a more miserable society.
Drawing on previous research, the Center for Economic Development and Business Research calculated a Misery Index for a number of geographic areas, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index (HPI) and BLS’s unemployment rates. The results of that study are now available.