Another 500,000+ Jobs Lost in December. Unemployment Climbs to 7.2%

Posted on January 10, 2009

The number of jobs lost in November was similar to November. Nonfarm payroll employment declined sharply in December, and the unemployment rate rose from 6.8 to 7.2 percent - this is a 16-year record. Payroll employment fell by 524,000 over the month and by 1.9 million over the last 4 months of 2008. In December, job losses were large and widespread across most major industry sectors.

The New York Times says the total number of jobs lost in the recession is now 2.59 million. That number is likely to grow as companies are not done making cuts.
The December decline in jobs came on top of similar losses in October and November. Not since 1980 has the work force shrunk so much in just three months. Companies across all industries are grappling with sales that are deteriorating rapidly just as they lose easy access to loans.

"The simplest way for a company to hoard cash is to drain their inventories and fire their workers," said Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at the Investment Technology Group, a research and trading firm, "and everywhere you look, that is what is happening."

The total number of jobs lost in the recession now totals 2.59 million, counting upward revisions for October and November, with many more job losses expected in coming months.
In some cases companies are filing for bankruptcy or liquidating and jobs are lost because the company is gone. You can see the complete report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics here.