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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.
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.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rate in March 2009 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/apr/wk1/art01.htm (visited May 29, 2023).