Down And Out: Discouraged Workers

How many people are unemployed? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the latest "official" rate of unemployment is 6.8% -- meaning that nearly 9 million of the civilian work force of 125 million are jobless. But the numbers don't come close to telling the whole story.

To be counted as unemployed, you must not only be out of work but must also have actively looked for a job in the preceding four weeks. This definition excludes the 6 million Americans who work part time because they can't find full-time jobs. Some labor experts argue that many of these "underemployed" workers...

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