Well, compared to every economic downturn since World War II, it’s really bad (see above graph). With the latest jobs report, where the national unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent, economists are now discussing whether its getting better and if recent East Coast snowstorms skewed unemployment data. From calculatedriskblog.com, which is essential reading for any amateur number cruncher:
For the current recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only early ’80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).
Note: the impact of the weather on the survey is unknown, but was probably minimal. Census hiring was 15,000. So 51,000 jobs lost ex-Census.
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