Mike Shedlock at Townhall Finance has a nice piece up explaining where those rosy unemployment numbers come from, and hints on how to interpret any such future proclamations.
In November, those "Not in Labor Force" rose by a whopping 487,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed. Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.
Toss in discouraged workers and that number rises to around 16%. How many of your friends do you know are currently unemployed?