OK, it’s that time again — when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its unemployment figures, and then we have to dig a little deeper for the real numbers. (Because the BLS doesn’t count ‘people who ran out of unemployment benefits’ as unemployed!)
So, the real unemployment numbers:
There are 153.4 million Americans in our labor force.
Of those, there are 13.5 million unemployed, 921,000 "discouraged workers," and 2.3 million who are working part-time because they "could only find part-time work." That’s a total of 16.8 million who want to work full-time but can’t get jobs.
In other words, the real unemployment rate is 10.9%.
(Worse, if you add the 5.6 million who are working part-time because of "slack work or business conditions," that unemployment rate hits 14.9%.)
The good news is that, using those same more-realistic numbers, the unemployment rate is down from March 2010 when it was 11.9%, and also down from February when it was 11.1%.
If you’re reading this from your office, count your blessings.