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Jobless rate excludes discouraged workers

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The official U.S. unemployment rate doesn't count a growing number of workers who want to find jobs but have given up the search, experts say.

While the official count was reported last week to have risen to 9.7 percent in August that includes only those who have actively sought work at some point in the preceding month. That is not the case for everyone who would prefer to be working but have halted their job searches, many out of sheer frustration, The New York Times reported Monday.

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The number of those workers rose from 1.4 million in November 2007 to 2.3 million in August, and if they were counted in the official unemployment figures, the U.S. jobless rate would be up to 11 percent, the newspaper said.

The group includes includes discouraged job seekers as well as those who have suspended their searches for other reasons.

"When you were in high school and kept asking the head cheerleader out for a date and she kept saying no, at some point you stopped asking her," Rick Alexander, a master carpenter in Florida who has given up searching after months of effort, told the Times. "It becomes a 'why bother?' scenario."

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