March 6, 2009
Unemployment jumps to 8.1 percent
The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 8.1 percent in February, exceeding economists' predictions, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.
Economist predicted the unemployment rate would reach 7.9 percent from the previous 7.6 percent. But, the nation's employment picture
continued to fall sharply, the Labor Department said, with 651,000 jobs lost in the month.
widespread across all major industry sectors,the department said.
Those unemployed more than 27 weeks increased by 270,000 to 2.9 million in the month.
In addition, the number of people listed as
marginally attached to the labor force is 466,000 higher than it was a year ago at 2.1 million. That number tracks those who haven't searched for work in the past four weeks. Included in this number, which isn't reflected in the unemployment rate, is 731,000 workers who have given up looking for work.
In the 14 months into the recession that began December 2007, the Labor Department said about 4.4 million jobs have been lost, an average of 314,285 a month.