October 3, 2008

Economic Job Report: Worst in 5 Years

Jobs: Worst in 5 years

Payrolls shrink by 159,000, the 9th straight month that employers shed jobs, bringing losses to 760,000.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Employers made deeper cuts in their payrolls in September, according to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, as the economy experienced the biggest drop in jobs in more than five years.

There was a net loss of 159,000 jobs in September, the ninth straight month the U.S. economy has lost jobs. The August job loss was revised to 73,000 jobs, taking year-to-date job losses to 760,000.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast the loss of 105,000 jobs in the month.
The unemployment rate remained at 6.1%, the same level as August and in line with economists' forecast.

The report is based on surveys of employers and households conducted in the week of Sept. 8 to 12, a period before the worst of the current financial crisis hit Wall Street. That crisis caused banks to hoard cash and cut back on credit extended to businesses.

Fears that the credit crunch will cause widespread job losses and a severe downturn in the already struggling economy prompted Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to push for a $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

The measure, which passed the Senate Wednesday night, was voted down in the House on Monday. But the House is set to vote on the measure again Friday.