More people are unemployed in America than live in Ohio or go to church in Texas.
Unemployment statistics don't usually leap off the page, but the latest report from the Department of Labor offers some astounding figures. More than 651,000 jobs were cut in February, continuing a steep drop that has raised the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent, its highest level since 1983.
Matched up against some of the latest stats made available by the Census Bureau, those numbers really do begin to add up.
• 651,000 jobs were axed in February, a number larger than the populations of:
- El Paso
- Washington, D.C.
• 12.5 million people are unemployed in the U.S., which is more than the number of:
- people watching ABC's "Lost" this season
- women attending college
- male scientists and engineers
- Americans who grow herbs
- people who played tackle football in the past year.
• 12.5 million people is also a number larger than the populations of 45 states, including
• 4.4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007, which is larger than the population of the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
• 2.6 million jobs have been lost in the past four months, which is like every Presbyterian in America getting the ax in one winter, or about the number of senior citizens in Florida.
• 8.6 million people have been forced to work part-time for economic reasons, which is more than the population of New York City, or more than the number of people who try to quit smoking every year.
The roll continues, and it is a stark one: construction companies eliminated 104,000 jobs in February, factories cut 168,000 jobs, retailers sliced nearly 40,000, professional and business services got rid of 180,000, financial companies reduced payrolls by 44,000, and leisure and hospitality firms chopped 33,000 positions.
Despite all the doom and gloom in the Labor Department's numbers, at least one sector had a pretty rosy February: the government boosted its number of employees last month.