What does that mean? It means that 1.5% of the population, roughly 3.5 million people are not being counted as unemployed, even though they are in fact unemployed. They would be people who have been unemployed so long, that they have just given up. There are over 6 million people who have been out of work for more than 6 months
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.8 million, was little changed in October.Well if we add in 3.5 million to that number, we are at about 18.3 million unemployed. That would mean that using more realistic numbers, the unemployment rate is actually approaching 12%. There are over 84,878,000 people not in the work force. In the last month of President Bush's term in office, the number was 80,686,000. That is over 4 million people who are no longer in the work force .