Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rise in US jobless raises spectre of Great Depression

Gary Duncan, Economics Editor

Fears that the world is sliding into the worst global recession since the Great Depression multiplied yesterday as figures showed the steepest jump in American unemployment since the Second World War and a slump in manufacturing across Europe.

Economists on both sides of the Atlantic were startled by the severity of the latest indications of global economic slump, which further stoked pressure for radical action to stave off economic calamity.

A further surge in US joblessness led the litany of bleak developments yesterday. Official figures confirmed that more Americans lost their jobs last year than in any year since 1945, and that unemployment is soaring at the fastest pace seen since then.

A total of 524,000 Americans were made redundant by US employers last month alone, the latest official payroll figures showed. The mounting toll of job losses drove the unemployment rate in the world's largest economy up to a 15-year peak of 7.2 per cent, sharply higher than November's 6.8 per cent, amid predictions that it will leap to 9.5 per cent or more by the second half of next year.

“The jobs situation is ugly and it is going to get uglier,” Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research in New York, said. “There's no reason to expect hiring any time in the next three to six months.
Read entire article US Jobless Figures Point To Great Depression
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