Saturday, September 06, 2008

U.S. unemployment rate hits a five-year high

And there is even more bad economic news coming out over the weekend. From MSNBC News:

WASHINGTON - The nation’s unemployment rate zoomed to a five-year high of 6.1 percent in August as employers slashed 84,000 jobs, dramatic proof of the mounting damage a deeply troubled economy is inflicting on workers and businesses alike.

The Labor Department’s report, released Friday, showed the increasing toll the housing, credit and financial crises are taking on the economy.

The report rattled Wall Street again. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 100 points in morning trading. All the major stock indexes tumbled into bear territory Thursday as investors lost hope of a late-year recovery. With the employment situation deteriorating, there’s growing worry that consumers will recoil, throwing the economy into a tailspin later this year or early next year.

The jobless rate jumped to 6.1 percent in August, from 5.7 percent in July. And, employers cut payrolls for the eighth month in a row. Job losses in June and July turned out to be much deeper. The economy lost a whopping 100,000 jobs in June and another 60,000 in July, according to revised figures. Previously, the government reported job losses at 51,000 in each of those months.

So far this year, job losses totaled 605,000.

The latest snapshot was worse than economists were forecasting. They were predicting payrolls would drop by around 75,000 in August and the jobless rate to tick up a notch, to 5.8 percent. The grim news comes as the race for the White House kicks into high gear. The economy’s troubles are Americans’ top worry.

“With the unemployment rate over 6 percent, it is a clear warning sign that this economy is continuing to soften faster than we thought. It is a real concern,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. “Businesses have decided to hunker down. They are not hiring, and they are paring workers where they can. That is making things pretty tough out there.”

Welcome to the Bush/McCain economy. What is even more astonishing is that the economy was ignored by the McCain campaign during the Republican National Convention. Eight years of Bush mismanagement has wreaked the U.S. economy, and the McCain campaign doesn't want to see itself tied to this Bush economy--even though that same McCain campaign is running on the same Bush platform. So the McCain campaign is trying to shift the presidential debate to character issues, presidential personalities, and POWs, while ignoring the serious problems this U.S. economy is facing. If the Obama campaign wants to win the White House, they are going to have to tar and feather John McCain with this failed Bush economy completely over the next two months--John McCain is a failed Bush third term.

We are back to "It's the economy, stupid."

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