Unemployment Rate Hits 14-Year High

Saturday, November 15, 2008
While media headlines have been dominated by the fall of the stock market and the bailouts of large banks and other financial institutions, another more ominous economic statistic shows that the economic slowdown has hurt a larger group of Americans than wealthy investors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October the unemployment rate hit 6.5% for the first time in more than 14 years. The jump in the rate, from 5.0 in April 2008, marked the sharpest six-month rise in the unemployment rate since the Reagan Recession of 1982. The brunt of unemployment is not evenly divided. Among teenagers in the workforce, the rate is 20.6% and among African-Americans in general the rate is 11.1%. Geographically, in September, the unemployment rate ranged from 2.5% in Caspar, Wyoming; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Bismarck, North Dakota, to 24.6% in El Centro, California.



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