A staggering amount of jobs were lost in December, the highest jobless rate since January 1993.
The news out Friday morning reveals that 524,000 jobs were shed, leading our country’s unemployment from 6.8% to 7.2%.
Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed Americans has grown by 3.6 million, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 315,000 to 6.5 million in December. Over the past 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 2.7 million.
Within professional and business services, the temporary help industry lost 81,000 jobs in December, bringing job losses in 2008 to 490,000.
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On the bright side, healthcare employment continued to grow in December (32,000), with over-the-month job gains in ambulatory services (14,000) and hospitals (12,000). In 2008, healthcare added 372,000 jobs.
In related economic news, the BLS reports that wives’ salaries are starting to surpass their husbands’ salaries. In 1987, 18% of working wives whose husbands also worked earned more than their spouses; in 2006, the proportion was 26%.