According to ADP's Employer Services measure, a survey based upon payroll numbers, employers cut the number of US jobs by 697,000 in February, which was worse than expected.
But other numbers looked somewhat better, giving a glimmer of hope. Consumer spending, saving, and income were all up in January, according to the Department of Commerce.
Nevertheless, unemployment rates are soaring in the US, rivaling numbers from the recessions of 1973-75, 1979-80, and 1981-82. And for a really cool map of what is happening to unemployment rates throughout the nation, take a look at this. Generally speaking, current local unemployment rates appear to be related to recent local unemployment rates, a region's reliance on manufacturing jobs, and the local severity of the housing bubble.