The ‘09 figure uses the “official” unemployment rate — people actively seeking work — while for ‘12 they’re using the “real” unemployment rate which includes discouraged workers.
Jan 2009 Aug 2012 Official 7.8% 8.1% Real 14.2% 14.7%
Notably, neither Fox nor Fallows cite sources for those data points. Likely suspects include August unemployment figures and alternative measures of labor underutilization from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I don’t see an easy way to link to the ‘09 data but you can search for it pretty easily.
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