There are far more jobless people in New Jersey than you might think.

Although the unemployment rate is falling, that doesn't include the thousands of people who have given up looking for work.

Last year there were 86 million people who didn't have a job and were not consistently looking for one, according to Labor Department data.

"Most of them were either over age 65 and nearing retirement, so while they may want to keep working, they really can't find a job or under age 25, just coming out of college and struggling to find work," said Carl Van Horn, director of Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Van Horn says its especially frustrating for the younger worker.

"Mainly because they are not in college, they might not have a high school degree and they are not really the types of people that employers are looking to hire."

As a result, the labor force is the smallest size its been since the early 1980's.

"This has been going on for quite some time, so this is nothing new, but a lot of these people that are unemployed are clearly victims of the recession."

The good news is that private sector job growth is improving in New Jersey and across the nation.

"We continue to make slow steady progress in recovering the millions of jobs lost during the recession five years ago, but it will take some time before we get back to where we were."