If you have ever been unemployed, you might not just have felt invisible. You actually might not have been counted.

That’s because the government doesn’t include everyone without a job in the unemployment rate. The traditional unemployment rate is a complicated, multi-factor calculation to estimate the percentage of people looking for work.

A simpler, more straightforward measure is the percentage of people age 25 to 64 who are not in the workforce. It includes adult students, homemakers, early retirees, and other people not working by choice, and it also includes those such as the long-term unemployed who are likely excluded by the standard unemployment rate.

Here’s a look at what the broader measure of unemployed people looks like in the Bay Area.1. Solano — 24.58%2. Sonoma — 21.22%3. Contra Costa — 21.19%4. Alameda — 19.97%5. Marin — 19.66%6. Santa Clara — 19.21%7. Napa — 18.13% 8. San Mateo — 16.82%9. San Francisco — 16.54%[bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”1. Solano” percent=”24.58″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”2. Sonoma” percent=”21.22″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”3. Contra Costa” percent=”21.19″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”4. Alameda” percent=”19.97″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”5. Marin” percent=”19.66″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”6. Santa Clara” percent=”19.21″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”7. Napa” percent=”18.13″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”8. San Mateo” percent=”16.82″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”9. San Francisco” percent=”16.54″]A high rate, like Sonoma County’s, can be a sign of chronic unemployment. An especially low rate, like San Francisco’s, can indicate that more people in each household must work to make ends meet.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau ACS table S2301

Daniel J. Willis