Thursday, January 29, 2009

4.8 million Americans on unemployment benefits

Graph showing jobless claims increasing to 588,000 for the fourth week in January. From MSNBC News.

There is not much to say on this MSNBC News story:

WASHINGTON - The number of people receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time record, the government said Thursday, and more layoffs are spreading throughout the economy.

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967. That's an increase of 159,000 from the previous week and worse than economists' expectations of 4.65 million.

As a proportion of the work force, the tally of unemployment benefit recipients is the highest since August 1983, a department analyst said.

The total released by the department doesn't include about 1.7 million people receiving benefits under an extended unemployment compensation program authorized by Congress last summer. That means the total number of recipients is actually closer to 6.5 million people.

Tack on the 1.7 million receiving extended unemployment benefits, and you get a total of 6.5 million Americans unemployed. And you can bet that number is even higher, considering the number of Americans that have stopped looking for a job (and have been dropped from the unemployment rolls), and the number of Americans that are underemployed or are working part time.

It just keeps getting worst.

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