The U.S. Bureau of labour Statistics today released a series of charts showcasing unemployment in America from January of 1980 to October 2009. With the current rate at 10.2%, the only time unemployment became worse was in the early 1980s:
BLS: Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points.
In October, 35.6 per cent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more, while 20 per cent of the unemployed were jobless for 5 weeks or less.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.7 per cent) and whites (9.5 per cent) rose in October. The jobless rates for adult women (8.1 per cent), teenagers (27.6 per cent), blacks (15.7 per cent), and Hispanics (13.1 per cent) were little changed over the month.
In terms of the length of time that people have remained unemployed, we’re already in a worse situation than even the early 1980’s. So we have a similar level of unemployment as then, but it could drag on for longer.