Related News

Home » Business » Economy

US jobless rate highest since 1983

THE unemployment rate in the United States jumped to 8.5 percent last month, the highest since late 1983, as employers eliminated a total of 663,000 jobs.

If part-time and discouraged workers are factored in, the unemployment rate would have been 15.6 percent last month, the highest on record since 1994, according to Labor Department data released yesterday.

"It's an ugly report and April is going to be equally as bad," predicted Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's

Employers cut 651,000 jobs in February when the jobless rate was 8.1 percent.

Since the recession began in December 2007, the US economy has lost a net total of 5.1 million jobs, with almost two-thirds of the losses occurring in the past five months.

The number of unemployed people climbed to 13.2 million last month.

In addition, the number of people forced to work part-time for "economic reasons" rose by 423,000 to 9 million.

Economists expect monthly job losses continuing for most, if not all, of this year.

However, they are hoping that payroll reductions in the current quarter won't be as deep as the roughly 685,000 average monthly job losses in the January-March period.

In the best-case scenario, employment losses in the present quarter would be about half that pace, some economists said. That partly assumes the economy won't be shrinking nearly as much.

The deterioration in the job market comes despite a few hopeful signs that the recession could be easing.

Orders placed with US factories actually rose in February, ending six straight months of declines, the government said.

Earlier in the week, there were better-than-expected reports on construction spending and pending home sales.

And last week a report showed that consumer spending rose in February for the second month in a row after a half year of declines.

Education and health care were the two industries showing job gains.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend