The Graphic Truth: Jobless rate hits historic high
In recent weeks, Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in unprecedented numbers. But it wasn't until the new monthly unemployment rate was released Friday that we were able to grasp just how stark the data really is. Some 33.7 million Americans have now filed initial jobless claims in the past 7 weeks, bringing the official unemployment rate to a whopping 14.7 percent. The US is now experiencing the biggest crisis of joblessness since the Great Depression, which began in 1929. But unlike back then when jobs were lost incrementally over time, with unemployment peaking in 1932, the current crisis has wiped out a decade's worth of job gains in mere weeks. Here's a look at the historical context.