NY Times Economix Blog has a post on the utterly depressing job numbers out today. Some fun facts, via the posting:

  • The economy lost more than 1.9 million jobs during the final four months of 2008.
  • During the worst days of the early 1980s downturn, the economy never lost more than 1.3 percent of jobs over a four-month span.
  • The average workweek dropped to 33.3 hours, from 33.8 hours a year earlier, forcing many families to take an effective pay cut.
  • The unemployment rate in December rose to 7.2 percent, from 6.8 percent, and is now at its highest level in 16 years. That rate also understates the weakness of the job market, because it doesn’t count people who have given up looking for work or those working part-time even though they want full-time work.
  • The number of part-time workers who said they couldn’t find full-time work rose sharply again last month. More than 8 million people now fall into that category, up from 4.6 million at the end of 2007.

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