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.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.