The U.S. unemployment rate hit a 26-year high in March as employers cut a whopping 633,000 jobs. According to the U.S. Labor Department already 2 million jobs have been lost this year and over 5 million since the beginning of 2008 leaving a total of 13.2 million U.S. citizens jobless.
The unemployment rate is now the highest since 1983. The Labour department revised earlier months’ figures downward, reflecting new information, and January now stands as the worst month for job cuts since October 1949.
Long-term unemployment, counting those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, rose to 3.2 million over the month, adding 1.9 million since December 2007.
Among adult men, 8.8 percent are unemployed. Among adult women, 7 percent are unemployed. For blacks, the jobless rate reached 13.3 percent in March. For Hispanics, the unemployment rate is 11.4 percent.
The current downturn has in many respects exceeded every recession since the Second World War and is approaching the severity of the Great Depression. It is already the longest downturn of the post-war period, and has seen a larger number of job losses than any downturn since that of 1929-32.