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Unemployment and the Economy

In Brief

In December 2007, the United States entered into a recession that has been called "one of the longest downturns since the Great Depression of the 1930s." While various factors have contributed, many attribute the housing bubble burst to be the primary catalyst, which caused sub-prime lending and loan losses among some of the largest investment and commercial banks in the country.

One result of the recession is rising unemployment. In October 2009, the unemployment rate reached double digits for the first time in 26 years at 10.2 percent. The unemployment rate was reported as 9.6 percent in September 2010, or 14.8 million unemployed workers. Between December 2007 and July 2010, 8 million Americans have lost their jobs. As of July 2010, 7.9 million jobs have been killed off, with an increasing likeliness that many won't be returning.

The Obama Administration is working to revive the economy through numerous acts and initiatives. President Obama's goals when it comes to unemployment and the economy are to create jobs, keep Americans in their homes and bring stability to financial markets. The most popular act is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the Stimulus Package, which Congress approved on February 11, 2009. The $787 billion bill created approximately three million jobs. Other acts to boost the economy include a $15 billion Small Business Bill, $2.2 billion Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and Making Home Affordable refinancing plan. The Labor Department also launched a new jobs website, myskillsmyfuture.org to help match people with an available job or the additional skills training to get one.




To learn more about unemployment and the recession, read through the following Web resources:

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