524,000. That's a big number. In the month of December, 524,000 Americans lost their jobs. Over the past year, 2.6 million Americans have lost their jobs. Jobs were lost both in manufacturing and service sectors. Both November's and October's numbers were revised downward.
1.5 million jobs were lost in the last quarter of 2008. The unemployment rate is now 7.2%. 11.1 million Americans are unemployed. Underemployment, a much better gauge of job market weakness, has risen to 13.5%. This is an increase of 4.8 percentage points over December of 2007. When you combine the number of people who are out of work or underemployed, you come up with a whopping total of 21 million Americans.
By now, it should be clear to anyone and everyone that the policies of the Bush administration have been disastrous for our country. The Economic Policy Institute has more on the jobs picture.