January 13, 2009
In December, the number of unemployed persons increased by 632,000 to 11.1 million and the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has grown by 3.6 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 2.3 percentage points.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose over the month by 315,000 to 6.5 million in December 2008. Over the past 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 2.7 million.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose to 2.6 million in December and was up by 1.3 million in 2008.