US Recession May Be Worst Since World War II

Published on Huffington Post, by Nicholas Graham, Dec. 7, 2008.

The U.S. economy may be headed for its deepest and longest recession since World War II as mounting job losses take their toll on consumer confidence and spending.

Employers cut payrolls last month at the fastest pace in 34 years as the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, the highest level since 1993. The 533,000 drop brought cumulative job losses this year to 1.91 million, the Labor Department said yesterday in Washington …

… Today’s employment report, showing that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, 320,000 in October, and 403,000 in September – for a total of over 1.2 million over the last three months – begs the question of whether the meltdown we’re experiencing should be called a Depression.

We are falling off a cliff. To put these numbers into some perspective, the November losses alone are the worst in 34 years. A significant percentage of Americans are now jobless or underemployed – far higher than the official rate of 6.7 percent. Simply in order to keep up with population growth, employment needs to increase by 125,000 jobs per month.

When FDR took office in 1933, one out of four American workers was jobless. We’re not there yet, but we’re trending in that direction. (full text).

More articles:

Unconventional steps may slow the slide into global recession – a call for ‘further measures’ is about more than just cutting interest rates, December 7, 2008,

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