At a time when news headlines repeatedly proclaim some of the lowest unemployment rates in history, finding yourself jobless can seem particularly discouraging.

After all, it’s not as though securing a new position has become any easier!

In fact, navigating today’s increasingly complex hiring process can prove truly daunting.

It’s there that clues begin to emerge about the true state of today’s labor market: if everyone is working, then why does LinkedIn show more than 200 applicants for the particular job I’m seeking?

Taking a look at just how the US Labor Department tracks unemployment sheds further light.

By excluding those who’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, the federal government has long painted what some consider an artificially rosy picture.

When releasing monthly figures, a broader measure reflecting a more complete view (Called U5) is downplayed by Labor and all but ignored by the media. In the most recent report, this rate was 5.7%, versus 4.7% in the U3 number that made headlines.

With the addition of underemployed workers, those who seek full-time but can only manage to find part-time work (the U6), it jumps even higher, to 9.2%.

A new administration could mean big changes in how the government tracks and reports these figures, with President Trump calling for a more accurate reflection of reality. And according to one recent report, there is bipartisan support for a more honest approach.

For those seeking to re-enter the workforce or change careers, One Life at a Time offers a Career Boot Camp, job coaching (including mock interviews) and resume writing services. It’s a great way to get back on track and restore self-confidence.

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