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The unemployment picture: A grim recount

WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- The unemployment rate peaks above 20 percent in four states when two classes of marginalized workers are taken into account, the U.S. Labor Department said.

Add the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time employment and those who have given up looking for work and the unemployment rate reaches 23.5 percent in Oregon, more than one in every five workers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

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In Michigan and Rhode Island, the unemployment rate with the two extra groups added would reach 21.5 percent. In California, it would reach 20.3 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate reached 9.5 percent last month, but the number excludes the two groups that are often counted by journalists and others trying to paint a complete picture of the nation's labor force.

Whichever brush you choose to paint the picture, laymen and experts say the job market will get worse before it improves.

"It's not going to be an overnight turnaround," Bernard Smith, an out of work engineer from Greenville, S.C., told the Times.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday the unemployment rate would "tick up for several months," the Times said.

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