It’s bad enough that the official unemployment rate hit a 26-year high of 10.2 percent in October.
But if you count people who have given up looking for a job – those who are really the most unemployed – and those who are working fewer hours than they would like, the jobless rate registers 17.5 percent.
That’s a record since the government began tabulating the statistic in 1994.
The official unemployment rate only measures those who are out of work and looking for jobs. That leaves out workers who are so pessimistic that they’ve stopped even looking. And it leaves out part-time workers who want to be full-time.
The unemployment saga obviously is a huge negative for the economy.
"To me there's no easy solution here," Michael Pento, chief economist at Delta Global Advisors tells CNBC.
"Unless you create another bubble in which the economy can create jobs, then you're not going to have growth. That's the sad truth. . . . We've had a jobless recovery in the last two recessions. This is going to be the third jobless recovery in a row."
That means the recovery will be L-shaped, Pento says.
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch also expects an L-shaped recovery thanks to the jobs situation.
“You've got a huge number of unemployed here in the U.S. today, and we won't get that cured or those people re-employed until we get the formation of small business on a big scale,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
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