The unemployment rate dipped 9.7%-9.5% in June, its lowest level since July 2009, though the stats reveal that the economy still blows: The percentage fell because 652,000 people gave up on job searches, according to the Labor Department. People no longer job hunting aren't counted as unemployed.
People left the work force "because they think there's nothing out there," said Nigel Gault with forecasting firm IHS Global Insight. Um, Nigel would be correct.
Some 14.6 million people were looking for work in June. Counting those who gave up job searches and those working part time who would prefer full-time work, the underemployment rate edged down to 16.5% from 16.6% in May.
The big picture: I probably shouldn't buy that new sofa now. Once I join the 225,000 Census staffers that were laid off in June, I too shall become a Labor statistic... again.