Monday, March 9, 2009

February’s Unemployment Rate

It’s up quite a bit to 8.1%.

That’s the highest since the wake of the 1981-2 recession.

We talked a bit in class about the historical perspective on this, and you can get that data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On their graph, recessions are steep upward climbs on their time series plot of the unemployment rate, while expansions are flatter and longer downward sloping portions. The real question about this recession on that graph is how long that steep climb can persist; there’s simply no good way to figure that out.

Over the weekend I downloaded that data, got it into Excel and color-coded it to give you a better sense of how to interpret the numbers. It’s on the G drive, and is called Unemployment Rates.

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