The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 8.5% by the end of next year and inch even higher in early 2010, economists for Goldman Sachs wrote Friday. The cumulative trough-to-peak increase of more than 4 percentage points in the jobless rate would be the most since World War II, they said.
The BLS unemployment series is above, modified to show 9% unemployment in 2010. I guess this would technically beat out the 1979-81 "double-dip" recession because there was a pause in the middle of that one. To me, the current recession still doesn't look quite as bad '79-'81, but then, we haven't had a sudden oil crisis yet either. And let's hope we don't. It looks plenty bad already.