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Working In America Is Way Better Now Than It Was In 2009

Come with us on a journey down the dark river of time, and reemerge with a new appreciation for 2017.

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Many people remember — and survived — what has been dubbed the Great Recession. It was a period from late 2007 through mid 2009 when the economy declined and many young people entered the work force with student loans and credit card debt and stared at thinner and thinner job postings as thousands of people lost their jobs.

There were 7.1 million people unemployed in August this year. In 2009, 14.9 million people were unemployed.


In August 2009, nearly 5 million people were long-term unemployed, which means they were out of a job for more than 27 weeks. In August 2017, about one-third as many, 1.7 million people, were long-term unemployed.

In 2009, 758,000 people said they weren't looking for work because they're hopeless they'll find a job. But now in 2017, only 448,000 people say the same.

In August 2009, 8.9% of whites were unemployed; 15.1% of blacks; 13% of Hispanics; and 7.5% of Asians. Eight years later, 3.9% of whites were unemployed; 7.7% of blacks; 5.2% of Hispanics; and 4% of Asians.

During the same month in 2009, 7.6% of adult women and 25.5% of teenagers were unemployed. In August 2017, just 4% of adult women and 13.6% of teenagers were unemployed.

Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Leticia Miranda at

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