Friday, March 07, 2008

Job losses: Worst in 5 years

Is it just me or is it time to really worry?
Employers made their deepest cut in staffing in almost five years in February, the Labor Department reported Friday.

There was a net loss of 63,000 jobs, which is the biggest decline since March 2003 and weaker than the revised 22,000 jobs lost in January. Economists had forecast a gain of 25,000 jobs.

The weak report fueled already mounting recession fears and is likely to keep the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates further when it meets later this month.

"Based on today's Employment Report, if we are not in a recession, it is a darned good imitation of one," said Kevin Giddis, managing director of fixed income at Morgan Keegan. "We are in an unprecedented real estate and credit crisis that is whipping its way through the U.S. economy like a Midwestern tornado."

Job losses were widespread, reaching beyond the battered construction sector, which lost 39,000, and manufacturing, where job losses hit 52,000.

Retailers cut 34,000 jobs.

Temporary staffing firms cut nearly 28,000 from their payrolls, another warning sign of employers pulling back.

Hotels cut about 4,000 jobs, a sign that discretionary consumer spending could be on the wane.

Overall the private sector cut 101,000 jobs, with only a gain in government employment limiting losses.

"Job growth appears to have weakened across nearly every industry with the exception of health care and government," said Keith Hall, the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which prepares the jobs report, testified Friday before a congressional committee.
Our financial system is in tatters as a result of greed and lack of oversight. How can we continue in our current political financing scheme which amounts to Legalized BriberyHow can we expect our elected officials to look out for the little guy when it is the large corporations that are funding the re-election efforts. We have seen the greatest redistribution of wealth in our history from the poor and middle class to the most priveleged in our society. Does that seem just? This excessive greed has caused our current situation. In many palces in this country recession has been around for years. What is happening to them now is depression like economic conditions. Will those same conditions spread to the entire nation? Only time will tell how severe this downturn will be but one thing is clear, the road ahead will be very bumpy and the pain being felt by the middle and lower classes will only get worse.

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