The U-3 Statistics is a very bad indicator of where the country is at in a recovery. The reason for this is that it has a habit of giving the opposite impression of the actual job situation.
If a large number of people give up looking for work or retire we can see the unemployment rate drop, but that isn't a good thing in either case. What we see in the recession/recovery is an increase in early retirement, which is a brain drain on the country's employment base, and a net drop in productivity. This is especially troublesome given that many companies and the government cut payroll by promoting upwards to fill these vacated jobs and simply close the middle or low management vacancies the promotion creates. They don't have to fire anyone, they just cut off paths for advancement.
On the flip side, when the economy starts to surge back we will likely see a lot of early retirees deciding to get back into the market along with a lot of people who just gave up. This surge in people looking for work will lead to a spike in unemployment.
In short, the U-3 numbers are really pretty useless for their intended purpose and anyone you hear quoting them, without discussing the underlying numbers in depth, thinks you are an idiot or they are one themselves.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
I'm not sure what you think an unemployment rate should measure.
Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.
What matters are the 22 million unemployed/under employed/discouraged workers, the 6.2 trillion added to the debt in less than 5 years, the stagnant economic growth, massive dependence on the taxpayers for welfare assistance, and the total incompetence in foreign and economic affairs. Results matter, not rhetoric
Obviously you don't understand the statistic. The fact that it doesn't include marginally attached or discouraged workers and completely misses the difference between retirees and those forced into early retirement -- all of these people that the U-3 doesn't track would, if available, take a job -- it doesn't track labor available like you think it does. The fact that it doesn't track all these types of workers is why it is a poor indicator.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville