I always pay close attention to the monthly unemployment statistics. I'm not an analyst. Or an economist. But I've been unemployed for 2½ years, scraping by on freelance work. I like to dig a little deeper into the numbers to get a better feel for what's really going on -- and what that might mean for me.
Sometimes the unemployment rate goes up a bit, as it did in July, because the unemployed who'd previously given up looking for jobs optimistically decide to resume their searches. Unfortunately, this isn't what happened in July. Instead, another 150,000 people dropped out of the labor force.