Joseph Stiglitz wrote a book this year looking at the American economy, released no doubt to coincide with the 2016 election.
We can begin in the Preface and gain some insight into unemployment immediately:
“Despite a headline unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, millions remain trapped in disguised unemployment and part-time employment. The workforce participation rates has fallen to levels that predate women’s widespread entry into the labor market in the late 1970’s. The unemployment rate including those working part time involuntarily and those who are marginally attached – meaning they want a job but are not actively looking for work – is over 10 percent. In communities of color, rates are even higher, with unemployment among African-Americans double that of whites – as has been true for half a century”
Stiglitz, J. ‘”ReWriting The Rules Of The American Economy. An Agenda For Growth And Shared Prosperity” (2016, Preface viii)
So, a lot of the reported low unemployment is due to people being employed in part time work or not recorded as actually looking for work. This may be because they can’t find work and have given up looking or they are doing jobs that they are too skilled for. In most instances they will be getting paid much less than in the jobs they previously held.