Marilyn Geewax en 'Dejected': Some unemployed give up the hunt The unemployment rate slipped a notch to 8.1 percent in April, but not because employers went on a hiring spree.<p>Instead, the jobless rate appeared to improve because fewer people were applying for positions. Last month, the civilian labor force shrank by 342,000 people.<p>Economists say many of those workforce dropouts were "discouraged" workers who moved to the sidelines after months, even years, of trying to nail down jobs.<p>Traci Polacco has just joined the ranks of the discouraged. She had been working as an intake coordinator at a Denver hospital when she got laid off in November. Sun, 06 May 2012 01:11:48 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 7356 at 'Dejected': Some unemployed give up the hunt