A 9.6% unemployment rate means that nearly one in ten Americans can't get a job. The length of time that this unemployment has been in place means that those unemployed Americans have been out of work for a long, long time.
In total, 151,000 jobs were gained in October, mostly at retailers, temp agencies, and food service. It was the best gain in jobs since April; alltogether, 874,000 jobs have been added this year. But that's nothing compared to the 8 million in jobs lost during 2008 and 2009.