Unemployment Leaps to 8.1%

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2009 7:54 AM CST
Job seekers join a line of hundreds of people at a job fair sponsored by Monster.com on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Unemployment hit 8.1% in February, its highest level since late 1983, as employers cut 651,000 jobs, the government said today. That’s worse than the 7.9% analysts predicted, thanks to revised numbers from January and December that were much worse than originally reported. December’s revised loss of 681,000 jobs makes it the worst month since October 1949, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A total of almost 4.4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began, and many analysts expect the vicious cycle to continue. “There is not a single sign that points to a bottom yet,” one economist told Bloomberg. “It is the worst recession in the post-war era.”