Depending on How You Look at It, Unemployment Might Be Increasing

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Sigh ... Photo: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

Yesterday, we learned that the unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent to 9.5 percent, the lowest it's been since July 2009, but that's largely because of people who have stopped looking for work. Business Insider explains:


"If you haven't looked for work for four weeks, you are not counted as unemployed. If you add those who were taken off the rolls back in, the unemployment number would have risen to 9.9%. In the past two months nearly one million people have dropped out of the labor market. If you counted all the people who would take a job if they could find one as unemployed, the unemployment number would be closer to 11%."

Why have so many people stopped looking for a job, exactly? Officially known as "discouraged workers," these folks are feeling increasingly "hopeless," according to CNN: "A record 1.21 million people want to work, but said they aren't looking because of the weak labor market ... There are five workers for every available opening." Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said: "Things are very, very weak and they are not expected to strengthen anytime soon. It's going to be a long slog." Well with that attitude ...

'America The Screwed: A Field Guide To Our Dismal Economy' [Business Insider]
'Job gloom at all-time high' [CNN]