The national unemployment rate sits at 3.5 percent, tying a historic low first set 50 years ago. We hear that headline number tossed around often in the national conversation, but what does it truly mean and does it paint an accurate picture of America’s employment picture?

WGN Radio’s Justin Kaufmann, host of Extension 720, put that question to WorkingNation’s Joan Lynch, chief content and programming officer, and Ramona Schindelheim, editor-in-chief, in an interview Monday night in Chicago.

Justin Kaufmann, Ramona Schindelheim, Joan Lynch (Photo: WGN Radio)

Lynch and Schindelheim discussed how while today’s jobless rate is low, there are other measures of employment we should all be looking at. For instance, what is the quality of the job people are employed in, how many people have given up looking for work because they don’t believe they have the skills to get hired, and how many people are working more than one job for economic reasons?

They also answered the question: how do you define a “quality job”? WorkingNation has spent a lot of time looking at that question, as we look at how technology is changing the very nature of work. There is no one answer to the question, but Lynch and Schindelheim argued that for many people it means a job that has a stable income that will put a roof over your head and food on the table without worry. For many, it also means a job with a sense of purpose and personal satisfaction.

WorkingNation’s mission is to share stories of jobs that can fulfill these goals, and stories of the training and education needed to get them. If you haven’t done so already, we invite you to have a look around our website and see what we’re talking about.

You can listen to the entire interview on WGN Radio here.

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