Unemployment Rate Likely Heading Above 8%

I was quite surprised to learn that the most recent monthly unemployment rate of 6.5% was the highest since the mid 1990’s. That number, while up significantly from the recent past, just did not strike me as being all that terrible considering the economic deterioration our country has seen recently. As you can see below, the unemployment rate would likely rise above 8% if this recession is as bad as many expect it to be, rivaling the downturns of the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s.

It looks like bad news on the economic front will last well into 2009, but that should not be a much of a surprise to market watchers.