Today the official unemployment rate jumped to 7.2%. But the real story is likely worse than this number. There are other ways to measure unemployment, including looking at the number of people who are working part-time but want to be working full-time. There are 8 million of these. The official number is about people who are “looking” for work but there are also the “discouraged” workers, people who have largely given up looking. they are not included. And to top it off the official unemployment rate has been changed over the years, always in ways that make this 7.2% number lower than the official number would be if measured in ways it was measured decades ago.
Another number that can be used is “U-6” which measures total unemployed. The official description is:
Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.