Unemployment is worse
The economy is sinking fast. The nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 651,000 in February and the unemoployment rate jumped to 8.1%. Since the recession began in December 2007, about 4.4 million jobs have been lost, and over half the increase came in the last 4 months.
But the real number to focus on is the total unemployed figure: It includes the traditional unemployment number, plus all marginally attached workers, plus the total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force. That figure is 14.8%, up from 13.9% in January and 9.5% a year ago.
Going over the industry numbers the decline was brutal–across the board with one big and important exception: Health care continued to add jobs in February, with a gain of 27,000.
In a trend that has been happening throughout the recession the previous months numbers have been revised–and their worse. Total nonfarm employment for December was revised from -577,000 to -681,000 and January was revised from -598,000 to -655,000.
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