US Government figures show that more American jobs were cut in November than in any single month for 34 years. Some 533,000 payrolls disappeared from the economy, more than even the most pessimistic estimates. US unemployment now stands at 10.3 million people, or 6.7 percent of the workforce, the highest rate since 1993. November was the eleventh consecutive month of job losses in the world’s biggest economy. The job cuts struck a broad range of professions, from manufacturing and construction to retail and financial services, reflecting the depth of US recession.
The National Bureau of Economic Research said last week that the contraction began last December, just as employment peaked. President-elect Barack Obama has said that getting Americans back into work is “the most significant issue” facing his administration. He has announced plans to save or create 2.5 million jobs over two years. But the signs are ominous for the immediate future: Citigroup is to erase 52,000 jobs and on Thursday telecoms giant AT&T said it will cut 12,000. If General Motors’ worst fears come true, its collapse could add up to 2.5 million more to those statistics.