"The Labor Department tabulates six different unemployment figures each month, ranked U1 to U6. Their midpoint, U3, is the standard figure released to the press and reported on to anxious readers before they head to work (or don’t). The U3 indicator measures the number of jobless Americans as a percent of the labor force. It doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work but want a job, or part-time staffers who’d prefer full-time employment. That tally is represented by U6, which hit 15.8 percent in April. Nearly one-fifth of Americans are either unemployed, underemployed or have given up."
Wired-o-Nomics: Why Is the Real Jobless Number So Elusive?
The emphasis is mine. And this doesn't include those who have dropped off the public assistance / unemployment databases. They are swallowed up in an underground economy and we have no way to measure that--except in terms of the lives ruined and/or destroyed. Those figures are lovingly cultivated by conservatives to argue we need to reduce the safety net even further for the victims of the economy they're exploited by.
Don't wonder why I'm a liberal. Liberal is the only thing that makes sense.