Transcript for This day in history: Oct. 8, 1982
Good evening it was not a surprise but it was still a jolt ten point 1%. And today for the first time since before World War II there is double digit unemployment in the United States. 450000. Workers lost their jobs in September. And so now well over eleven million Americans are out of work. As you might expect a lot of people had a lot to say today about unemployment and recession we'll have a full report. But first for what the figures remain here as economics editor Dan courts. Although. All of the increase in unemployment took place among adult men whose jobless rate rose from eight point 9% to nine point 6%. A bulk of those job losers had been employed in manufacturing. Where the unemployment rate climbed from twelve point 1% to thirteen point eight. But there was plenty of other bad news in the index to. For example a black unemployment rate went from eighteen point eight to twenty point 2% the highest on record. The number of so called discouraged workers those who have given up looking for jobs rose for the fifth consecutive quarter to one point six million. The highest number recorded since the government started coming. And the total those working part time because they can't find full time job and shot up by almost a million to a record six and a half million. Almost twenty million Americans are now working less than they'd like or not at all. And all administration officials point out that a hundred million Americans are still working. Many of them are now so worried about losing their jobs that they're not spending the money needed to spark a recovery. I've been saying I don't know what's gonna happen one day to the next the last. Rooted in faith and boring today I don't see it form the future. The year through at least. Today the conference board a business research organization. Reported that Americans plans to buy cars houses and appliances fell 17%. Last month. And that directly related to high unemployment and the possibility it'll go higher. It is thought that suggested that the economy is waiting for the consumer. Or what one out of every ten. Wage earners. Out of jobs I think you might feel more accurate to say that the consumers waiting for them but the economy. High unemployment is also undermining the recovery by ballooning the federal deficit. And Ronald Reagan took office unemployment has risen two point 7%. That has reduced income tax receipts by 46 billion dollars. And increased spending on unemployment benefits welfare and other social program quite thirty billion dollars. But the deficit is 76 billion dollars higher than it would have been if unemployment had remained the same. Administration officials insist they're still hope. Hole when inflation is down of people theaters down and interest rates come down. As Marie felt that venues that the economic engines recovery and that's when we get employment starting back up. The Federal Reserve board is now encouraging banks to cut their interest rates even more late today the Fed lowered the discount rate the interest it charges for loans to member banks. From 10% to nine and a half the lowest level in three years. The Fed's decision to relax its stranglehold on the nation's money supply sent the stock market looming for the third day in a role in spite of the bad unemployment figures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added almost 21 points to two record two day leap of 58 and closed for the week at 986 point 85. The highest level in 21 months. But so far it's only the stock market that's really benefited much from lower interest rate. And until ordinary Americans step up their purchases the unemployment figures will continue to look pretty grim. Dan courts ABC news New York.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.