The Obama administration can claim anything they want from the Ivory Tower, however "12.5 million people are still unemployed, and a record 88.4 million people are considered "not in the labor force," according to the BLS. Those folks can see unemployment and underemployment from street level. Their view of unemployment and underemployment comes from a how can we survive, will we lose our home, can I feed my kids perspective. The Obama administrations view is from the Ivory Tower and comes from a can I fool enough people into think things are actually better perspective. In December 2008, a year after the recession officially started there were 135,253,000 million people working, that's 3,622,000 less than when the recession started in Dec 2007. Now here we are 3 years and 5 months later and there are 132,967,000 people working. That's 2,286,000 less people working than in Dec 2008. How anyone can say things are getting better I simply don't know, they just aren't getting worse as fast. However what we have is over 8% unemployment for the longest sustained time in the history of this country since the great depression. 19% underemployment (stimulus jobs), near $5 trillion dollars in new debt in less than 4 years, home foreclosures continuing unabated by any Obama plan, gasoline hovering just under $5 a gallon driving up prices of all consumer goods, food prices hitting the stratosphere and over all GDP growth below 2% which means we're losing ground.
In California the overall unemployment rate is 11.5% and well over 12% in the county I live in. I can see the unemployed from my back yard.