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12.5 Million Unemployed in the United States

Things are going to get worse before they get better. A staggering number of unemployed are hitting the streets in the US, and the figure it growing. The U.S. unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 per cent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening recession.

unemployment chart

The number of unemployed persons increased by 851,000 to 12.5 million in February, and the unemployment
rate rose to 8.1 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has
increased by about 5.0 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.3 percentage points. (See

The unemployment rate continued to trend upward in February for adult men (8.1 percent), adult
women (6.7 percent), whites (7.3 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.9 percent). The
jobless rate for teenagers was little changed at 21.6 percent. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.9
percent in February, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 270,000 to
2.9 million in February. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was up by 1.6

About 2.1 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in
February, 466,000 more than a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available for work and
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached,
there were 731,000 discouraged workers in February, up by 335,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
The other 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for
work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

We need jobs fast, but is the solution just a ‘reflatable bubble’?

[tags]unemployment, unemployed, employment[/tags]

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