U.S. unemployment rate dips to 10.9%

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.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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