Oregon's economy has stalled at about 9.5% unemployment for months, but that number is actually closer to 19.6% when counting underemployed workers.
This measure is called the U-6 rate, and Oregon has the fourth highest in the nation.
Unemployment, and how it's counted, is subject to widespread misunderstanding. Some critics contend the government uses the official definition of unemployment -- the U-3 -- to understate joblessness, making the economy appear healthier than it is.
"The most common misconception is that you have to be receiving unemployment benefits in order to be counted as unemployed," said Nick Beleiciks, state employment economist. "That's simply not true."
The official unemployment rate is the share of the civilian labor force that is not working but has made specific efforts to find employment during the previous four weeks. Economists adjust the monthly percentages to iron out seasonal fluctuations. They sometimes revise rates a month later to reflect new data.
Read more at OregonLive.com.