The Misery Index was created by Arthur Okun, an economist and adviser to President Lyndon Johnson. It is calculated by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. The concept is fairly simple – If inflation is rising, goods and services will cost more. If unemployment is rising, consumer spending would be constrained. Adding higher costs for things that we buy as consumers along with less money to buy them creates a fairly miserable situation for the economy.
Unemployment Rate figures obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor – www.dol.gov
Inflation Rate figures obtained from Financial Trend Forecaster® – InflationData.com