Unemployment numbers equivalent to populations of three states

This final note on the way out, some perspective on the unemployment report we're going to get Friday morning. Derek Thompson at the Atlantic magazine likes to think of the labor market this way:

Companies have cut the equivalent of Virginia since the recession started in December 2007.

The entire populations of Virginia, Colorado, and Rhode Island are unemployed.

The entire metro areas of Chicago and Los Angeles have been unemployed for six months or more.

And the work week population of Washington D.C., has just given up looking for work.

We took a stab at visualizing those figures last month when unemployment fell to 9 percent, in case you need some more perspective.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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