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August 04, 2003

Job Losses- Largest Since Great Depression

The job crash continues:

One economist, Larry Mishel of the Employment Policy Institute, called the ongoing US manufacturing cuts "the greatest contraction in private sector employment since the Great Depression." In fact, two years after the 2001 recession, private sector employment has fallen by 2.5 million.
And things aren't looking up. Just since January, payroll employment has fallen by 486,000 jobs. And 2 million workers are "discouraged" and no longer even counted in the unemployment numbers.

Signs of pickup are non-existent. Before companies do new hiring, they usually max out hours for present workers and even push into overtime before making the commitment of new hires. But average hours are dropping, not rising. The average workweek shrank to 36.6 hours from 36.7 in June. Manufacturing hours fell to 40.1 from 40.3:

“Employers are not merely continuing to cut jobs, they are cutting back on paid hours worked even more severely,” commented Charles McMillen of the consulting firm MBG Information Services.

Posted by Nathan at August 4, 2003 08:18 AM