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At first glance, and much like those sweltering days of years gone by, June's increase in unemployment from 6.1 to 6.4 percent was not a good report. However, summarizing a Department of Labor spokeswoman's comments to a reporter, all was still beautiful in unemployment land. Why? Because the three-tenths percent increase primarily resulted from a swelling of the labor force, she explained. In other words, the stormy unemployment figure is not so bad when you consider the whole picture.

You see, dear reader, to understand unemployment calculations and what the data truly represent, you must also consider two groups of individuals often disregarded in employment discussions: those not looking for a job and those who are self-employed.

If an individual is not looking for a job--be it because he or she either doesn't want to work or simply stopped looking out of disgust but still desi

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