There are lies, damn lies, and the publication and dissemination of statistics that support the prevailing viewpoint that this government so wishes to propagate. For instance, there are actually six different categories of state measures of unemployment, labeled progressively as U-1 through U-6, of which this government as well as their media mouthpieces consistently uses just one of these measures, which is U-3. The U-3 unemployment definition considers only those that are unemployed which have also looked for employment as of the last four weeks, divided into the civilian labor force as whole, of which, the official U-3 unemployment rate as of March, 2018, was listed at 4.1%, which is the lowest this indicator has been since 2000. That unemployment number sounds quite impressive, however, the U-6 definition of unemployment includes "plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons," which as of March, 2018, was listed at nearly doubled the U-3 amount at 8.0%. There is a world of difference between these two numbers.
The main question to ask is whether or not the U-6 unemployment rate is a more accurate depiction of the real employment situation. The answer is fairly straightforward, for the marginally attached are defined as those that have looked for work in the last twelve months, but not within the last four weeks, whereas, part time workers for economic reasons are defined as those that are working, but would prefer full time employment, but are unable to find or attain full time employment.
Obviously, if you are working but are not working enough hours to meet the standard forty hour work week, than your income as well as your ability to pay bills and meet expenses is adversely affected, so while these people are employed, they most definitely are also under employed. Additionally, those that have looked for full time employment over the last year, but not within the last four weeks, aren't considered unemployed by the U-3 standard, but, in fact, they are in actuality unemployed, and clearly were desirous of being employed but were unable to find employment during their recent search, in which they have not renewed such a search within the last four weeks. This number of four weeks seems like a relatively arbitrary number of too short of length of time, to displace these people from being part of the de facto official unemployment rate.
So that, the real unemployment rate as of March, 2018, is actually 8.0%, but even that doesn't fully reflect the gravity of the situation, for if you are well qualified worker, or have a graduate degree, or are very experienced, or an older worker, but work within an industry that does not basically credit you for any of those things, you will, more times than not, receive a wage that is far below your skill levels. So that, as reported by pewresearch.org, we find that: "About 20.6 million people are “near-minimum-wage” workers," of which near-minimum wage is defined as: "those who make more than the minimum wage in their state but less than $10.10 an hour."
This would indicate that not only is the real unemployment rate, a not so impressive 8.0%, but that millions upon millions of Americans make no better than near-minimum wages in the work that they so do, signifying that your eyes as well as your friends do not deceive you, for unemployment and wages are not nearly as robust as this government would have you to believe.