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Unemployment Hits 8.9%

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Reporters rushed to help Team Obama today by saying the increased unemployment numbers were a good thing. That’s because, they claim, the numbers didn’t go up as much as they thought they would. Hmmm. So 500,000 more people are out of work and President Obama says he’s “encouraged” by that number? Tell that to the 500,000 who just lost their jobs.

If the underemployed and those who have given up searching for jobs were included, the rate would go from 8.9% be 15.8%.

When President Bush was in charge, the unemployment rate ranged from 3.8% to 7.2%. Democrats say because of his actions, the number still is rising. That might be true.

Still, the unemployment rate has not been this high in 26 years. The last time the unemployment rate was as high as today’s number of 8.9% was in September of 1983, when the figure climbed to 9.2%. When Jimmy Carter was president, the unemployment climbed as high as 7.8%. Republicans say because of his actions, the numbers kept rising for Ronald Reagan who took office in 1981. That also might be true.

It peaked at 10.8% in 1982, but was down to 7.2% when it was re-election time for Reagan’s second term. The President’s question of, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” was an easy answer for Americans; yes. Reagan was easily re-elected.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad the numbers weren’t even worse. However, it appears the rate is not done climbing yet.

From the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1976 7.9 7.7 7.6 7.7 7.4 7.6 7.8 7.8 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.8
1977 7.5 7.6 7.4 7.2 7.0 7.2 6.9 7.0 6.8 6.8 6.8 6.4
1978 6.4 6.3 6.3 6.1 6.0 5.9 6.2 5.9 6.0 5.8 5.9 6.0
1979 5.9 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.6 5.7 5.7 6.0 5.9 6.0 5.9 6.0
1980 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.9 7.5 7.6 7.8 7.7 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.2
1981 7.5 7.4 7.4 7.2 7.5 7.5 7.2 7.4 7.6 7.9 8.3 8.5
1982 8.6 8.9 9.0 9.3 9.4 9.6 9.8 9.8 10.1 10.4 10.8 10.8
1983 10.4 10.4 10.3 10.2 10.1 10.1 9.4 9.5 9.2 8.8 8.5 8.3
1984 8.0 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.4 7.2 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.4 7.2 7.3
1985 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.3 7.2 7.4 7.4 7.1 7.1 7.1 7.0 7.0
1986 6.7 7.2 7.2 7.1 7.2 7.2 7.0 6.9 7.0 7.0 6.9 6.6
1987 6.6 6.6 6.6 6.3 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.0 5.9 6.0 5.8 5.7
1988 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.4 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.3 5.3
1989 5.4 5.2 5.0 5.2 5.2 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.3 5.3 5.4 5.4
1990 5.4 5.3 5.2 5.4 5.4 5.2 5.5 5.7 5.9 5.9 6.2 6.3
1991 6.4 6.6 6.8 6.7 6.9 6.9 6.8 6.9 6.9 7.0 7.0 7.3
1992 7.3 7.4 7.4 7.4 7.6 7.8 7.7 7.6 7.6 7.3 7.4 7.4
1993 7.3 7.1 7.0 7.1 7.1 7.0 6.9 6.8 6.7 6.8 6.6 6.5
1994 6.6 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.6 5.5
1995 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.6 5.6
1996 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.3 5.5 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.4 5.4
1997 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.1 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.7 4.6 4.7
1998 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.4
1999 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.2 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.1 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.8
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.9
2008 4.9 4.8 5.1 5.0 5.5 5.6 5.8 6.2 6.2 6.6 6.8 7.2
2009 7.6 8.1 8.5 8.9

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