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What’s the Real Unemployment Rate?

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Last week I noted that the national unemployment rate had hit 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. But a report in The New York Times indicates the job market is much worse—closer to 17.5 percent. To get that figure, you have to add the underemployed to the ranks of the unemployed. Millions of workers now hold on to part-time jobs but would rather have full-time employment.

And, as The Denver Post points out, the youngest workers—aged 16 to 24—are finding it toughest to find work. The unemployment rate for that demographic is more than 22 percent.

Moreover, workers in their 20s are becoming very pessimistic about their lives ahead. Even though they have 40 years to save, more than one-third of workers in their 20s say they expect to work past the age of 70 or never retire.

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