The struggling US economy continues to shed jobs at a rapid rate.
In March there was a decline of 663,000, worse than February’s 651,000. The US Labor Department also revised January’s figures upwards to 741,000, the biggest decline since October 1949. The jobless total is now at a 25 year high, having accelerated over the last five months. In October last year it was 6.6 percent of the working population; now it is at 8.5 percent and economists at the US central bank have said it could hit 10 percent. Asked about the figures President Obama said: “The reason we acted swiftly and boldly in London was the fact that none of us can isolate ourselves from a global market, that the economy is now so interdependent, capital flows across borders occur in the blink of an eye, and as a consequence, if we do not have concerted action, then we have collective failure.” The most jobs disappeared from the service-providing sector – 358,000 positions, almost as many as in February. The manufacturing sector shed 160,000 jobs in March, while construction industries lost 126,000. Since the sub-prime mortgage meltdown triggered a recession – that became official in December 2007 – 5.1 million jobs have been lost in the US with the unemployment rate climbing faster than in any recession since 1980.