Unemployment at 8.5%

Some highlights from the Financial Times:

US unemployment hit 8.5 per cent, its highest level since 1983, as the recession continues to savage the labour force.

Non-farm payrolls shed 663,000 jobs, in line with economists’ expectations, bringing the losses since the recession began in December 2007 to 5.1m. Almost two thirds of the decrease happened in the last five months.

The grim employment situation was hitting many not counted in the official unemployment figures.

“Adding in discouraged adults who have left the labor force and part-time workers who would prefer to work full time, the real unemployment rate is closer to 17 per cent,” said Morici.

The number of disenchanted workers, people who wanted work but had not looked for a job in the previous four weeks, hit 2.1m, an increase of 754,000 compared to a year earlier. And the number of people who could find only part-time work increased by 423,000 in March to 9m.

The unemployment rate is fast approaching recent government estimates for the full year. In January, the Federal Open Market Committee predicted that unemployment would hit 8.5 to 8.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, before falling to 8.0 to 8.3 by the end of 2010.

The last paragraph shows how hard it is to predict unemployment rates!

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18 Responses to “Unemployment at 8.5%”


  1. 1 Barbara Lake April 3, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    It’s interesting to note that the unemployment rate may actually be much higher than the percentage given since this percentage does not include those who are too discouraged to even look for work so are not considered part of the labor force, and also that the unemployment rate does not account for part time workers who would like to be working full time. The latter are actually partially unemployed, yet are not included in the unemployment rate. Also, and not mentioned in the article, there are workers who are underemployed and therefore earning less than their previous employment probably paid, so they are in a troubled financial situation.

  2. 2 Melissa Schmitt April 6, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    it is interesting to note that the unemployment rate is rising much higher than was predicted by the government.If the economy has hit bottom than the unemployment rate should start to fall instead of rising at such a speedy rate. i think there needs to be programs to encourage people to find jobs. There are many more students going to masters programs so that they do not have to enter the labor force in these hard times. There are also many people who have looked for jobs in such a long time that they feel like the possibility of getting a good job is harder than winning the lottery. The unemployment rate does not include those not looking for jobs because they are considered outside of the labor force so the number of people actually not working and discouraged should be a larger worry to the government because that number is much higher.

  3. 3 Alex Bryant/Econ 101 April 7, 2009 at 8:15 AM

    8.5% is alful. I think when unemployment is at 5%, the government should just give jobs. Like, in China they just gave random jobs, like sweping airports, to employ some people. We should do that, insted of all these big bail outs. Employment is the backbone of our econ, we should only give bail outs to keep company employment. Employment means John Doe has money to spend, which means companys make money and pay taxes. 8.5%, the government should wake up. They raise our taxes, like the sales tax on 4/1/09, we have no jobs to pay the tax.

  4. 4 jenna s April 12, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    With today’s conditions, it is not much of a surprise that the unemployment rate is ever increasing. After reading many articles about companies’ lay-off proposals, it seems to me that businesses are laying off many middle management positions. This is not to say that lower management positions are not endangered, but that companies are sacking those in the middle who have considerable paychecks. At the same time, many upper management positions are holding up well (ING for example). I suspect that the unemployment rate will continue to rise, but will plateau towards the August. For now, finding and keeping a job is a challenge.

  5. 5 NK April 22, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    I work in hospitality and over the last year many companies cancelled on meetings and conferences probably due to money situations with their business. This is bad because meetings and conferences are a big part of the hotel industry. I think when people stop spending money and stimulating the economy like they normally would there are going to be job losses no matter what, and with the way the economy is at this time people are being really careful with their money and are not doing some of the things that they normally would in a effort to save. It is just a bad situation where the economy is at this point. I hope that the unemployment rate goes down and there are more jobs for those out their being lazy earning unemployment right now.

  6. 6 LEONARDO SANCHEZ ECON 101 April 23, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    Unemployment at 8.5%!

    Hello,

    Yes 8.5% is insane the way that the jobless are being piled up

    like rags. People should know that the economy will get worse

    before it gets any better but people are getting mobey through

    the unemloyment compensation not because there lazy but becasue

    there is just not enough jobs to satisfy everyone. Everyone is

    crossing there fingers in hope that the uneployment goes down in

    our near future quickly but only ime can tell.

  7. 7 Luis Orozco 101 April 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    obiously companies will keep laying off people as long as they dont make the profits they expect!

  8. 8 wallacej April 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Unemployment rate at 8.5 percent is terrible. I agree that in order for the economy to get better it must get worse first. But how much worse can it get with all these people out of work.The economy is in a tough point and we need to be able to fix it by helping our economy rather then putting it down.

  9. 9 Emily Bonzi May 4, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    It seems that the unemployment continues to rise. My mother’s store filled with over 400 employess just closed and my best friend also will be out of a job in a month for the same reason at a different store. What is not discussed in this article is the home business that are at a standstill because of the economy. These individuals are technically still self-employed, but with no one requesting their services what is left to distinquish them from the unemployed?

  10. 10 Marilyn Monroe May 5, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    The unemployment rate seems to be still be increasing. When there are fewer jobs that means that their is an increase in competition and a decrease in salaries. Big companies that have a lot of employees are reducing their number of employees and decreasing the salary of their employees. They are doing this because there is such a competition to gets jobs that people are getting paid pennies when they used to be getting a large wage.

  11. 11 Luis A. May 5, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    i am amazed that the unemployment rate has increased. some of my friends are worried that they will be laid off because companies and government jobs are being cut off. The government needs to find a way to make jobs because if this continues, it will only affect our economy and will hurt everyone who is employed in the the long-run

  12. 12 Kelsey Ryan May 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    It’s scary to see that the unemployment rate is closer to 17 percent rater than 8.5 percent if you include discouraged workers and people who would prefer to work full time rather than their part time positions. I really hope that this is “rock bottom” and that things can only get better from here.

  13. 13 Andrew May 12, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    Almost a fifth of the country is unemployed. This is just another sign that economy still has a long ways to go to get back to where it was. Stocks may be bottoming out, but we still have a long ways to go to get back to where we were before.

  14. 14 Rachel Sturm May 12, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    I had never really thought about the amount of people that wish to work full time but are stuck with only part time work. Reading this article shows that not only are hte American people uninformed on unemployments “true percentage” but that it is easy to understand why the 17% is not openly published. If the govn’ were to tell the citizens that the unemployment was that high, people would panic even more then they are now with the 8% unemployment. I can only hope that unemployment does even out by 2010 and the recession will be a thing of the past.

  15. 15 Britany Linton May 17, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    I don’t think people realize that unemployment affects much more than the people without jobs. It affects many things including the houseing marking which is getting hit extremely hard right now. This overwhelming unemployment rate affects the real estate because it is causing young people to live at home longer. Sharing a home with friends or relatives may be the only affordable option for many who are unemployed or cannot keep up with house payments (Nasser 2). There are fewer and fewer home owners who can keep up with house payments.

  16. 16 Santi Orona May 18, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    The unemployment being so high affects many different aspects of the economy. It is discouraging to know that many Americans who have been working their whole lives are being laid off. They are now put in an unfamiliar situation, and are unable to provide for their families. Unemployment not only affects those being laid off, but their families as well. If a family has a shortage of money, they will spend it on necessities. This in turn affects retail stores and other sectors of our bad economy.

  17. 17 Carl Hernandez May 25, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Yeah the unemployment rate is increasing but still no job losses in health services or government. This should give us pause for thought. How wide and deep is this economic crisis? Can the damage be contained to the FIRE and consumer discretionary sectors?

  18. 18 Claudio Ramirez May 26, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    The emplyment rate is bound to increase and near 9% in the following months according to economist becasue of the consumer spending that is declining each month. if consumers dont send, manufactures stop manufacturing and builders stop building which then creates more lay-offs, its kind of like a domino effect to an extent.


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