The nation’s unemployment rate rose from 8.1% to 8.5% in March. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.1 million jobs have been lost, with almost two-thirds (3.3 million) of the decrease occurring in the last five months.
According to BLS data for March, professional and business services lost 133,000 jobs, while financial activities lost 43,000 jobs (finance is actually out 495,00 jobs total since an employment peak in December 2006).
The last time unemployment hit 8.5% was in November 1983, after peaking at 10.8% in 1982.
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This video from Fox News calls it a “striking” reality:
In addition, a blog in the Wall Street Journal claims that unemployment may top 10% by early next year, but could even top 18%. “For people in this group, comparisons to the Great Depression (when 25% of Americans were out of work) may not look so wild even if overall economic activity is holding up better.”