The Bureau of Labor Statistics has put March’s unemployment rate at 8.5 percent, the highest in a quarter-century. After 15 consecutive months of job loss, more than one in 12 people (who are looking for work) are unemployed.
The New York Times:
The American economy shed another 663,000 jobs in March, the government reported Friday, bringing the toll of job losses during the recession to 5.1 million.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate climbed to 8.5 percent from 8.1 percent in February, its highest levels in a quarter-century, as employers raced to cut their payroll costs. It was the 15th consecutive month of job losses.
The figures offered a stark contrast to some recent glimmers of life elsewhere in the economy, which have buoyed stock markets and heartened hopes for a turnaround. The sharp and continuing increase in unemployment suggests that even if the downward spiral is beginning to level off, job losses are likely to keep piling up for the rest of this year and into 2010.