Friday, October 02, 2009

The Unemployment Rate Hits 9.8%, But It Has Been Worse

And it was not that long ago it was worse. Look at the history of the annual unemployment rate since 1970 in the graph below. I am giving 2009 a rate of 9.0, the average montly rate so far.

In both, 1982 and 1983, the UE rate was over 9%. Things could get worse, but we are not there yet. Notice that until very recently, we had been doing well. The following chart shows Percent of population Employed. The recent trend is not good, but we are still higher right now than almost every year before 1985.

Now let's look at inflation. It is pretty obvious we have been doing very well for a long time.

To show how bad things were not that long ago, from 1975-83, the average annual inflation rate and the average annual unemployment rate were both 7.7%. Here are the rates for each of those years.

Data sources were:

Consumer Price Index

Unemployment data

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