I’ve got these red, white and pink sleep blues...

9.5 percent – that’s the new unemployment figure released by the U.S. Labor Department.

It’s a 26-year high and suggests a rough road ahead for Americans and the country’s economy.

We’re taking a look at different views on what it means and who’s affected.

First, MSNBC talks to a White House official who says the number could have been worse…

“The hard thing with any of these job numbers is we're doing this in the face of the steepest downturn since 1929, so the overall economy is bad. … And if you look at infrastructure spending, that's now ramping up. If you look at money that's going to the states, you've got literally thousands of people who are able to keep their jobs as teachers such as policemen, firemen, because their states got money from the federal government.”

PBS Newshour’s Paul Samon counters that - saying the numbers are misleading, and are worse than they look.

He says the government’s official 9.5 percent jobless rate is probably too low. Why?

“The most inclusive number… adds part-timers looking for full time work bringing the total to 16.5 percent.”

CNN takes a closer look at the figures and highlights the gender gap in the unemployment rate.
The network explains why 10 percent of men are unemployed compared to 7.6 percent of women.

“…some of the areas that have been particularly hard-hit, we’re talking about the auto industry, for instance, that’s manufacturing, we talk about the housing market, that’s construction and they have been decimated and men tend to dominate those fields.”

Is employment going to get worse before it gets better? Or, have we seen the worst of it?

Unemployment at 26-year High

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Jul 3, 2009

Unemployment at 26-year High

I’ve got these red, white and pink sleep blues...

9.5 percent – that’s the new unemployment figure released by the U.S. Labor Department.

It’s a 26-year high and suggests a rough road ahead for Americans and the country’s economy.

We’re taking a look at different views on what it means and who’s affected.

First, MSNBC talks to a White House official who says the number could have been worse…

“The hard thing with any of these job numbers is we're doing this in the face of the steepest downturn since 1929, so the overall economy is bad. … And if you look at infrastructure spending, that's now ramping up. If you look at money that's going to the states, you've got literally thousands of people who are able to keep their jobs as teachers such as policemen, firemen, because their states got money from the federal government.”

PBS Newshour’s Paul Samon counters that - saying the numbers are misleading, and are worse than they look.

He says the government’s official 9.5 percent jobless rate is probably too low. Why?

“The most inclusive number… adds part-timers looking for full time work bringing the total to 16.5 percent.”

CNN takes a closer look at the figures and highlights the gender gap in the unemployment rate.
The network explains why 10 percent of men are unemployed compared to 7.6 percent of women.

“…some of the areas that have been particularly hard-hit, we’re talking about the auto industry, for instance, that’s manufacturing, we talk about the housing market, that’s construction and they have been decimated and men tend to dominate those fields.”

Is employment going to get worse before it gets better? Or, have we seen the worst of it?

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