Have you ever wondered how the unemployment rate is calculated? This video explains how the ratio is derived.
It’s based on the number of adults in the U.S. population who are working or actively looking for work. It’s literally the number of unemployed over the number of those in the labor force.
Actively looking for work means you’ve been looking for a job some time over the last four weeks. If you’ve gotten so discouraged that you’ve stopped looking for work, you are no longer considered part of the labor force and so are not included in the unemployment rate. Ironically, that would make the unemployment rate go down.