Unemployment rate in March 2009

April 06, 2009

In March, the number of unemployed persons increased by 694,000 to 13.2 million, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has grown by about 5.3 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.4 percentage points.

Unemployment rate, March 2008-March 2009
[Chart data—TXT]

Half of the increase in both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate occurred in the last 4 months.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs increased by 547,000 to 8.2 million in March. This group has nearly doubled in size over the past 12 months.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose to 3.2 million over the month and has increased by about 1.9 million since the start of the recession in December 2007.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. More information can be found in "The Employment Situation: March 2009" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0328.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Unemployment rate in March 2009 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/apr/wk1/art01.htm (visited April 17, 2014).

OF INTEREST

Spotlight on Statistics: Productivity

This edition of Spotlight on Statistics examines labor productivity trends from 2000 through 2010 for selected industries and sectors within the nonfarm business sector of the U.S. economy.  Read more »