Friday, March 6, 2009

US Unemployment: 8.1%

700,000 was the number I was expecting in terms of job losses, so 651,000 is better than I expected, but still absolutely horrible. US unemployment at 8.1% - given this, I would not be surprised to see Oregon's February unemployment at about 10.8%. This is scary, scary stuff. The point is that we need not only to reverse the job losses to start seeing unemployment go down, but to actually start creating a substantial number of new jobs, and we are so far away from that it is hard to see when we will reverse the downward trend in unemployment.

Economists not generally expect US unemployment to crest at above 10% which is a lot worse than the administration was saying it would get even without the stimulus. Ouch. My hope for Oregon's unemployment avoiding the height of 1982s 12.1% seems misplaced. Now I think we may see 13%. Let's hope not.

[Update: U6 which includes underemployed is at 14.8%. And by the way the 2.6 million jobs lost in the last 4 months is 600,000 more than in the entire state of Oregon at its peak.]

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