We often hear news about shifts in the unemployment rate. What exactly does the unemployment rate measure? Here is one pretty good summary: http://useconomy.about.com/od/economicindicators/p/unemploy_rate.htm
The overall picture here is that not everyone who is jobless is counted in the unemployment rate. For isntance, if you're not looking for work, haven't declared as unemployed, or have run out of benefits, you're not counted in the figures.
So when we are told by the same Website that unemployment is at 9.1% as of the sept 6th article, we need a bit more information. Real joblessness, when taking into consideration all of the individuals that are not measured by unemployment statistics published by the federal government, the estimates are anywhere between 16-22% of the population. That's 1/5th of every working age individual that is currently without a job.
So if only half or so of the people without jobs are receiving income from unemployment benefits, at best, what happens to the rest of the unemployed?