Labor Market Has Worst Month Since Recession Began

Source: Heidi Shierholz,Tobin Marcus, Economic Policy Institute, EPI Jobs Picture, February 6th, 2009

The January employment report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that that the economy shed 598,000 jobs and the unemployment rate increased to 7.6% in January, the highest rate in over 16 years. This was the largest decline in 13 consecutive months of job losses, with 1.7 million jobs lost (1.3% of employment) in the last three months alone (the largest such loss in 34 years). By almost every measure available — loss of employment, rise of unemployment, shrinkage of the employment-to-population ratio — this recession is steeper than any in the last 40 years, including the harsh recession of the early 1980s.

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