Underlining the need for approval of a stimulus package for the US economy, the latest jobs figures turned out to be really bad, the worst in thirty four years.
Employers in the United States cut 598,000 jobs in January as the recession deepened. The national unemployment rate shot up to 7.6 percent, its highest level in more than 16 years. The US Labor Department said almost 3.6 million jobs have disappeared since the start of the recession in December 2007 with about half that total over the last three months. Manufacturing saw the sharpest falls – 207,000 in January, the largest monthly cull of factory workers in 26 years. The job losses have already severely dented consumer confidence among American while fear of becoming unemployed has caused them to postpone purchases. Labor Department officials said the job losses are gaining momentum and analysts added there was no sign of relief on the horizon, judging from the depth and breadth of January’s plunge.