The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in October—but does that rate tell the real story?
Read MoreUS jobs data glitter may not be gold
A number of economists look past the "main" unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "U-6," which it defines as "total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers."
In other words, the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged—a rate that still remains high.
The U-6 rate fell in October to 11.5 percent, the lowest since September 2008.
While it is down 220 basis points over the last year, the trend has been somewhat more volatile than in the main unemployment rate, which steadily declined.