The number of jobless American workers receiving unemployment checks rose to the highest level since the government began keeping records in 1967.
A Labor Department spokesman said the number of Americans drawing jobless benefits for a week or longer rose to 4,776,000 in the week ended Jan. 17, the latest data available.
The number eclipses the prior mark set in November 1982, when 4,713,000 million Americans drew benefits.
Americans who moved to collect their first unemployment checks rose for the third consecutive week, to 588,000, according to a government report released Thursday.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment claims has surged by 61% from this time a year ago.
In graph form:
UPDATE: More ouch with the GDP. The fourth quarter of last year:
The U.S. economy shriveled at the end of 2008, shrinking by the most in 26 years….Gross domestic product fell at a seasonally adjusted 3.8% annual rate October through December, the Commerce Department said Friday in the first estimate of fourth-quarter GDP.
….Federal government spending helped the economy….Also preventing the economy from sinking further were inventories, which rose at the end of 2008. On a down note, the inventory increase was likely unintended — the result of companies getting stuck with unwanted merchandise because demand has tailed off in the recession….Inventories increased by $6.2 billion, after going down $29.6 billion in the third quarter and $50.6 billion in the second quarter. Inventories added 1.32 percentage points to GDP in the fourth quarter.
Wanna see that in graph form?
I say again… "Ouch"