The national unemployment numbers came out today, and there was some good news and bad news in there.

The bad news was obvious – another 539,000 jobs disappeared in April, and the national unemployment rate went to 8.9 percent, up four-tenths of a point. This is the highest it’s been since 1983.

The Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank in Washington, declared that the numbers don’t deliver “the hopeful signs that many are looking for.”

Ah, but others saw reasons to be cheerful. Economist Sung Won Sohn, noted that the rate of job loss is slowing. He said “the worst is behind us.” In March, for instance, the job loss was nearly 700,000.

No one is predicting a quick end to the recession. Even by the most optimistic scenarios, unemployment will keep rising for quite some time.

Here’s a story about the unemployment numbers from the New York Times.

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