Ha, top that! Defining what the "real" rate of unemployment is nonsense. For all those trying to analogize the current economy to the Great Depression, here is the ratio of total employed to all people who are able to work. As you can see, the ratio is still higher today than it was at any time before 1980. Of course, the logical question one should ask is if one believes that this is similar to the Great Depression, was 1945 to 1980 also similar to the Great Depression? After all, fewer people were working relative to the population then. Isn't that the "real" rate of unemployment?