The Great Recession

Worst Year for Jobs Since 1945

With the loss of 2.6 million jobs—including 1.9 million in the past four months alone—last year turned out to be the worst year for employment since 1945, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. The U.S. economy shed 524,000 in December, notching the unemployment rate to 7.2% (11.1 million people), the highest in 16 years. "It's going to be devastating in terms of consumer confidence and spending," said one economist ahead of the report's release. "The next couple of months will be dismal."