I have posted before about how the shrinking workforce tends to mask just how bad unemployment really is because people who have given up hope and stopped looking are not counted in the most widely cited calculation.

So the news yesterday that the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1% with zero net job growth actually is worse than it seems.

James Pethokoukis made the point in this tweet (h/t reader Charles):

Workers giving up hope, thereby keeping the unemployment rate artificially low, is keeping Obama’s reelection hopes alive.  If the headlines screamed that unemployment was 11.4%, even I might begin to believe.