Posted on 09 Jan 2009
The U.S. lost more jobs in 2008 than in any year since 1945 as employers fired another 524,000 people in December, indicating that the recession is worsening.
“Consumers are now going to get more and more scared at the prospect of losing their job,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.
The Labor Department reported that the nation lost 2.589 million jobs in 2008, just shy of the 2.75 million decline at the end of World War II. The unemployment rate climbed more than economists forecast, to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in almost 16 years.
Today’s figures will intensify pressure on U.S. lawmakers to act quickly on President-elect Barak Obama’s recovery program, which may exceed $775 billion and aims to save or create 3 million jobs. They also underscore the urgency of the Federal Reserve’s $200 billion initiative to restart consumer financing markets that’s scheduled to begin next month.