Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's the economy, stupid

It's called a recession.

The number of American workers on the unemployment rolls surged to the highest in a quarter century and a regional manufacturing gauge slumped as U.S. economic misery intensified.

The reports on Thursday were the latest in a growing body of evidence that shows the United States has probably entered one of the worst downturns in decades, while economists expect the world's leading economies to be in recession for about a year.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped last week to their highest level in 16 years, Labor Department data showed, suggesting next month's jobs data will add to the 1.2 million jobs already eliminated this year.

"No rest for the weary," said Carl Lantz, U.S. interest rate strategist at Credit Suisse in New York.

"It looks like we'll have another ugly payroll number in December."

Worse yet, the number of workers remaining on jobless benefits, or continuing claims, were the highest since December 1982, rising to 4.012 million in the week ended November 8, the latest data available, from 3.903 million the prior week.
Jan. 20 can't get here fast enough.

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