We hear so much hoop-la over the proclaimed “stabilizing” jobs market and how there’s new job creation taking hold.

Forget about all those temporary census jobs that evaporate in July.

However, lift up the sheets on the unemployment numbers and you have cause to be concerned. The “adjusted” unemployment rate published by the U.S. Department of Labor remained unchanged at 9.7% in the latest reading published last week.

What a relief. Not really.

A less touted figure, for good reason, tells us a different story.

What is known as the “real unemployment rate” actually ticked up from 16.8% to 16.9% for the same period.

The “real unemployment rate” measures those individuals collecting any form of unemployment benefit; seeking full-time employment, but working part-time; and people who are discouraged and have stopped looking for work.

In other words the true measurement.

In the Inland Empire the real rate is well north of 20%.

With state and local governments, and school districts prepping for massive layoffs, things don’t look too bright these days.

The spend-down in federal stimulus dollars later this year will only add to the mess.