New statistics show millions of Americans are not actively seeking jobs

(CNN) - The federal government reported Friday that 115,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in December, and the official unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent.

And while employers may be hiring, there's another big problem with the job market that isn't being tracked as closely: the hopelessly unemployed.

The often overlooked number, also calculated by the U.S. Labor Department, shows that about 2.25 million Americans want a job but haven't searched for one in at least a year.

The unemployed Americans that fit into this category is not counted as part of the labor force or the official unemployment rate.

Officials also do not include them in the category the Labor Department calls "discourage workers," who are people that have not bothered to look for work in the last four weeks.

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