The February job numbers released today bring the country close to the employment nadir it reached in 1982, David Leonhardt writes for the New York Times. The 651,000 lost jobs, along with 161,000 added in revisions to previous months, still bring a depressing milestone: Since the start of 2008, the US has shed jobs at a faster rate than at any other time in the past 50 years.
What's more, the broader unemployment rate—including those who have stopped looking for work and part-timers who'd like to be full-timers—has climbed to 14.8%. That's 1 in 7 Americans. Those numbers aren't as bad as the early-'80s figure of about 17%, partly because the job market was in dire shape even before that recession began. "But it’s bad, and it’s still getting worse at a rapid rate," says Leonhardt.