Sunday, December 7, 2008

Job Losses increase - future bleak




WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employers axed 533,000 jobs from payrolls in November, the most in 34 years, as the year-old recession hammered the economy and hardened calls for dramatic government action to restore growth.

The Labor Department said Friday the unemployment rate hit 6.7 percent last month, the highest since 1993, which adds up to 10.3 million Americans out of work, 2 million more than the population of New York City.

The jobless rate, which stood at 6.5 percent in October, would have been even higher but for people leaving the labor force in discouragement over their search for work.

A number of U.S. companies have announced jobs cuts this week, including General Motors Corp and asset manager Legg Mason Inc Friday, a day after phone giant AT&T said it was letting 12,000 workers go. Economists expect the unemployment rate to top 8 percent by late next year.

"You can't get much uglier than this. The economy has just collapsed, and has gone into a free fall," said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research in New York.

The collapse of the U.S. housing market last year sparked a global credit crisis that has killed growth, panicked investors and destroyed some of the oldest names in banking.

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