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March 6th, 2009
10:49 AM ET

February jobs report

Program Note: Tune in to hear more from Ali Velshi tonight on the CNN Money Summit at 11 p.m. ET.

The industries that made gains in employment figures last month: government, education and health care.
The industries that made gains in employment figures last month: government, education and health care.

Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

Today’s report includes a revision of the job losses for December, showing a loss of 681-thousand jobs. That would be the worst job loss since 1948.

Here are the numbers:

Unemployment rate now 8.1% (from 7.6%). Worst since Dec. 1983.

Adult Men: 8.1%
Adult Women 6.7%
Whites: 7.3%
Blacks: 13.4%
Hispanics: 10.9%
Teenagers: 21.6%
Asians: 6.9%

651,000 jobs were lost in February.

12.5 MILLION people now unemployed

4.4 Million jobs lost since beginning of this recession.

Only gains made were in education, health care and government jobs.


Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Unemployment
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Linda Simien

    How do I go about politically ,getting Washington to forgive forclosures
    on credit reports beginning 2005? It has affected me getting hired for a job.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  2. Ann

    Why do you continue to report the "impossible" for President Obama while you let the impossible criminal President Bush escape for eight years without an attack, a question, or a responsibility for leadership? You did not monitor the money for Katrina which disappeared into the irresponsible ocean of the Republicans and their supporters.

    March 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  3. Paul Baeszler

    Ali,
    When you showed the big map that listed the states with the highest unemployment rate you didn't highlight Rhode Island with over 10% unemployment – one of the highest rates in the country.
    Regards,
    Paul Baeszler

    March 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  4. JIM FALLBROOK CA

    Ali Veshi: The unemployment figures for now are worse than they were in 1983. That was the Jimmy Carter recession when unemployment was at 14%. I though that was the worst unemployment figure and never would be surpassed. The incompetency of our socialist president Barack Hussein Obama it might wind up higher. There are economist that predict there is a 30% chance of going into a depression. I thought that would never happen. With a incompetent president and his staff, that probably will happen. . It is unfortunate that the majority of American people voted for him. Now we are stuck with Obama for 4 years. In about 30 days, they will wish they never voted for him.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  5. sb-NY

    Indeed the number of unemployment is going to rise as long as financial institutions keep the credit and cash flow tight.

    The media is costantly educating job seekers how about educating employers in the following:
    A) stop the discrimination- age being the talest on the list
    B) "Think outside the Box" – give people with transferrable skills a
    chance- concentrate on the core skills vs. industry.
    C) Wake up employers there are a lot of overqualified people in the
    job market willing to take less salary don't turn your back on them.
    D) Recruiters, HR Directors etc. stop being order takers and resume
    collectors do your job properly sell the candidate to the line
    managers and educate decision makers regarding portable skills, and this does not mean (square peg in a round hole)- try it and you will be surprised.
    E) Stop distributing H1 B visa's
    F) promote job sharing
    Employers should do their share in helping this economy.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  6. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Has anyone bothered to ask why jobs in government, healthcare, and education are increasing? Does it have anything to actually do with demand for the career or is there just an oversupply of positions available in certain areas where no one wants the jobs because of bad work conditions and dismal pay? Just curious. And well, government will take care of its own and create more job opportunities to help itself grow (unless you happen to be unfortunate enough to work in a state in a deficit that just laid people off).

    March 6, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Gary Kipnis

    The unemployment statistics are meaningless. They do not take into consideration the number of people working full time at jobs that are providing little or zero compensation, such as commission sales in real estate. Also the statistics do not reflect the number of workers trying to survive on jobs where they are underpaid (substandard unliveable wage rates), mimimum wages without any benefits, or forced to take unpaid furlough time off leaving them with a negative household cashflow.
    I have not had any real estate closings since last October of 2008, and before that I went ten months with out a sale. I had twelve listings worth approximately two million dollars that did not sell, had little or no showings, no offers, and clients/property owners who lost they properties due to foreclosure or put tenants into the homes at a rental amount equal to half of their monthly mortgage payment just to have some sort of cashflow, all my other listings expired or I had to release the seller from our exclusive right to sell agreements because it was obvious the properties weren't going to sell at a price that would allow my clients to get out from under their mortgages. My new prospective sellers have mortgage balances that far exceed the current market values of the properties, and my new motivated, ready and willing prospective buyers are unable to qualify for and/or get approval for mortgage loans (or procure loans with reasonable acceptable loan terms and affordable loan costs).
    When are the idiots in legislature going to take significant cuts in pay and benefits? We need to fire those governmental officials who have held any office for more than two terms!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  8. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Just imagine how much worst things could be.. If people have no jobs.. They won’t be able to buy drugs.. And if the illegal drug trafficking and money laundering in ceased in this country… then so would also many millions of other jobs. Has anybody already started to hear the grouching coming from the south of the border..?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  9. Art

    How many times could you be knocked down before you come back up swinging?

    March 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  10. toadman

    Wow.. I'm not sure I worded my comment right.. it sounds bad. Sorry.

    What I mean is, comparatively, there is still a higher actual number of people working today, than the number of people who were working in 1983. Does that make sense? The percentage is the same, but the impact is a little less because if the higher population... does that make sense?

    No? Well, I give up.. I shouldn't be trying to make sense of this anyway..

    March 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  11. Don

    Its a black hole. Will this chain reaction of job losses continue until we are just a black spot in the universe? As far as I can see, our best thinkers have no solution but to increase currency circulation by taking on huge debts and attaching a web of strings for its use. What bothers me the most is the lack of creative thinking in solving the error of making mark to market calculations too rapidly in valuing assets, in solving the trade imbalance drain in our economy, and in developing a new economic formula which allows an economy to shrink without it falling completely apart. No doubt we have a mess created by mismanagement and greed but they did not cause this, they just capitalized on it and made it worse.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  12. Nick

    China says that it is seeing the signs of recovery. At the same time some economists say that there will be more blood bath on the job loss for another few months before the loss stabilizes or decline starts reducing. GM says it is advised on Chapter 11 option. Given all the above factors few questions:

    1. Is it still good time to invest in stocks with 10+ years prospect?
    2. Is it still considered a buy to invest in Financial/Banking given Citi breaking a $1 and many more are under $10?
    3. Will there be an upswing in economy as some suggest that it is possible by end of summer?

    March 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  13. toadman

    It will get better.

    Also, think of this: 8.1% of the working population in 1983 was a larger number than 8.1% of the working population now.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  14. JC- Los Angeles

    How about a big hand for all our leaders, executives and politicians?

    In between expense account meals, sojourns to the country club, huge employment contracts and golden parachutes, these titans of industry have managed to layoff everyone.

    As if that wasn't enough, they helped run the country and their companies into the ground.

    I can't wait to hear how business school professors articulate leadership in 2009.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  15. Michael C. Mchugh

    One thing I believe absolutely: the US government exists first and foremost to serve big business interests, with Congress representing local and regional capitalists and the president representing capitalism as a whole.

    This is why big corporations like GE, GM, AIG, Citibank and Bank of America will never go down. No matter what happens to the people, they will survive.

    When the Republicans finally get back in office in 20 or 30 years, they will even thrive again and the stock moarket will boom. If you can just buy these stocks for a song today and hold onto them for years, you'll do well.

    March 6, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  16. Carole Mooney

    It looks bleak, but while rooting out the absess is painful, that rotten tooth of Reaganomics has been festering for 30+ years and has to go. White knuckled and holding on, we will get through this.

    March 6, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    What comes down---must eventually go up---the question is when.

    March 6, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  18. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    This morning a radio broadcast said that only 46 counties are responsible for the mortgage collapse. The States involved are: California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and some areas near Washington, D.C. I thought that this epidemic of foreclosures was wide-spread...I guess I was wrong.

    March 6, 2009 at 10:20 am |

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