Unemployment hit 7.2% in December, the highest since January 1993– as the economy was recovering from the pseudo-recession of 1991-1992.
In November 1982, the unemployment rate was 10.8%.
Since the “natural rate of unemployment”– the part of unemployment you can’t get rid of (at least without severe long-term consequences)– is generally thought to be 4.0-4.5%.
So, today’s unemployment rate is 2.7-3.2% higher than the natural rate– less than half of the unemployment above the natural rate in 1982 (6.0-6.3%).
And of course, we’re nowhere near the unemployment of the Great Depression when the rate was in double-digits for more than a decade, including 19% in 1939– the 6th year of the (wildly over-rated) “New Deal”.