July 2, 2009

Job Layoffs Takes a Turn for the Worse

The economic recession took a turn for the worse last month, according to a Labor Department report released today. There was a net loss of 467,000 jobs in June, up from the 365,000 losses that economists were predicting.

In May, the layoff rate had slowed significantly to 322,000 jobs lost.

This month’ figures mark the first time in four months that the number of job layoffs rose from the previous month.

Unfortunately the bad news doesn’t stop there. The unemployment rate also continued to climb to 9.5% — closing in on the 10% or more that President Obama predicted two weeks ago.

The unemployment rate only counts those who are actively looking for a job. Those who have a part-time job because they couldn’t find a full-time job are not counted. Nor are those who have stopped actively looking. These Americans are calculated into the so-called underemployment rate, which is at a record high of 16.5%.

Nearly 4.4 million Americans have been out of work for six months or more and have likely run out of unemployment benefits. Since January 1, 2009, almost 3.4 million jobs have been lost.

With today’s report, economists are scrambling to predict where –and when — the recession will bottom out. What do you think? Will we see an end to the job-letting by the fall?

(On a separate note, stay tuned next week for a return to our Thursday Reader Mailbag feature. I had a great Q&A all ready to go, but decided to preempt it for the unemployment numbers. Normally they are released on a Friday, but due to Independence Day, the Labor Department released them today.)

Sign up for our newsletter!