Is the U.S. Unemployment Rate Today Already as High as It Was in 1982?

Source: John Schmitt and Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, March 2009

In 1982, the United States experienced the highest annual unemployment rate since the Great Depression – 9.7 percent. In principle, that rate is directly comparable to the 8.1 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2009, and suggests that current unemployment is still not as bad as it was in 1982.

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