The number of unemployed people climbed to 13.2 million in March and the number of people who would like to work full time but whose hours were cut back or were unable to find full-time work rose by 423,000 to 9 million. If part-time and discouraged workers are factored in, the unemployment rate would be 15.6 % for March, the highest on records dating to 1994.
The deterioration in the jobs market comes despite a few hopeful signs recently that the recession — now the longest since World War II — could be easing.
The Labor Department has revised January's job loss to 741,000, the worst since 1949 and February's to 651,000. That is 3.7 million jobs gone in the last 6 months, 2.7% of the workforce, the second-largest percentage loss in 50 years.
Job losses were widespread across industries, with only health-care showing a small gain of 14,000.