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Obama Warns U.S. Economy May Get Worse
A homeless man cadges on a street of Manhattan, New York. The unemployment rate in the United States rose to 6.7 percent in November, the highest level in 15 years, as employers slashed 533,000 jobs, the most since December 1974, the Labor Department reported on Dec.5. (Xinhua Photo)

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama warned on Dec. 5 that the worst was yet to come for the U.S. economy after the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent in November, the highest level in 15 years.

"The 533,000 jobs lost last month, the worst job loss in 34 years, is more than a dramatic reflection of the growing economic crisis we face," said Obama in a statement.

"Our economy has already lost nearly 2 million jobs during this recession, which is why we need an Economic Recovery Plan that will save or create at least 2.5 million more jobs over two years while we act decisively to maintain the flows of credit on which so many American families and American businesses depend," he noted.

He warned there are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, noting "it's likely to get worse before it gets better."

"But now is the time to respond with urgent resolve to put people back to work and get our economy moving again," said Obama, who will take the oath of office on Jan. 20 as the U.S. 44th president.
The unemployment rate in the United States rose to 6.7 percent in November, the highest level in 15 years, as employers slashed 533,000 jobs, the most since December 1974, the Labor Department reported on Dec. 5..

Employers have cut jobs each month this year. Job losses in September and October turned out to be much worse. Employers cut 403,000 jobs in September, versus 284,000 previously reported, and axed 320,000 in October, compared with an initial estimate of 240,000.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, as recently announced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, employment has fallen by 1.9 million. Two-thirds of the losses occurred in the past three months.

The unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, which followed a 6.5 percent rate in October, has surpassed the high seen after the last recession in 2001. The jobless rate peaked at 6.3 percent in June 2003.

Economists had been expecting the jobless rate to climb to 6.8 percent and employers to cut 320,000 jobs in November.

Job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors last month.

Factories cut 85,000 jobs, construction companies axed 82,000 jobs, retailers cut payrolls by 91,000, professional and business services reduced employment by 101,000, financial activities cut 32,000 jobs, and leisure and hospitality axed 76,000 positions.

The reductions offset an employment gain of 34,000 in health care.

The new figures released by the Labor Department showed that the employment market, which is critical for the overall economy to grow, has been deteriorating at an alarmingly rapid clip.

Embattled by a housing collapse, mounting foreclosures and credit tightening, employers could cut back on hiring further. Many economies expect the unemployment rate to climb to 8 percent, possibly higher, next year.




 

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