From the BLS Report, here's the real story behind the 9.6% unemployment rate: More people have given up looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed. The Data: Civilian Noninstitutional Population increased by 223K Civilian Labor Force increase by 48K Total Employed increased by 141K Total Not In The Labor Force increased by 175K Working Part Time for Economic Reasons increased by 612K If part time work had not increased by such a large extent, unemployment would have increased. The number of jobs being created are just enough to nominally cover population growth, but are doing nothing to reduce unemployment. Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted U-6 Unemployment (which includes "marginally attached" part time workers and those who have given up looking for now) increased from 16.7% to 17.1%. So, if anyone says that the reason unemployment is not decreasing due to more people looking for work, that is utter nonsense. U6 proves them wrong.