Today's economy, in which some 2 million people searching for full-time work have had to settle for less, and unemployment is much higher than the official rate when all the Americans who gave up looking for jobs are counted, too.
Because of the surge of hiring for the census, April unemployment only rose to 8.9 percent — a much slower increase than had been feared. Figures out today show unemployment now stands at 9.4 percent.
But consider these numbers:
_The 9.4 percent May unemployment rate is based on 14.5 million Americans out of work. But that number doesn't include discouraged workers, people who gave up looking for work after four weeks. Add those 792,000 people, and the unemployment rate is 9.8 percent.
_The official rate also doesn't include "marginally attached workers," or people who have looked for work in the past year but stopped searching in the past month because of barriers to employment such as child care, poor health or lack of transportation. Add those 1.4 million people, and the unemployment rate would be 10.6 percent.
_The official rate also doesn't include "involuntary part-time workers," or the 2.2 million people who took a part-time job because that's all they could get, plus those whose work hours dropped below the full-time level. Once those 9.1 million workers are added to the unemployment mix, the rate would be 16.4 percent.