Friday, June 05, 2009

Unemployment

This is what passes for good news these days: "Only" 345,000 jobs lost in May. Things are still getting worse, just not as quickly as before.

The United States economy lost 345,000 jobs in May, the government reported on Friday, a sharp slowing in the pace of job losses that fueled hopes that the economy was on its way toward a recovery.

The recession continued to take a toll as the unemployment rate climbed to 9.4 percent, its highest point in a quarter-century. Economists said the job losses were likely to pile up through the rest of the year as the country’s labor market bottomed out. But they saw the latest figures as solid evidence the job market was no longer in a free fall.

[...] The economy lost an average of more than 700,000 jobs per month during the first three months of the year as shocks from the credit crisis surged through the broader economy. But the pace of job losses eased to a revised 504,000 in April, a welcome sign that the decline in the job market would not continue forever.
Well, of course job losses weren't going to continue forever. That would mean that, eventually, nobody would have a job. But maybe this leveling off means that employers are approaching the point where they can no longer afford to cut jobs without negatively affecting their operations.

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