Economy Lost 159,000 Jobs in September

Posted on October 3, 2008

159,000 jobs were cut in September according to the latest jobs reports from the Labor Department. This was the biggest monthly jobs loss in five years. Unemployment remained at 6.1%. The AP notes that the economy has now lost 760,000 jobs this year.
The reduction in payrolls was much sharper than the 100,000 cuts economists were forecasting. They expected the jobless rate to be unchanged.

It marked the ninth straight month that the economy has lost jobs. The drop underscores fallout from a long slump in the housing market and a dangerous credit crunch that intensified last month throwing Wall Street -- and the economy -- into chaos.

So far this year, 760,000 jobs have disappeared.

"The economy is now sliding down the slippery slope of recession," said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.

Wall Street appeared relieved the decline in payrolls wasn't deeper. Stock futures were strengthening, pointing to a higher opening. The Dow fell 348 points Thursday amid worries about the broader economy.
The job cuts were widespread in several industries. Manufacturing jobs led with construction companies and retailers also cutting tens of thousands of jobs.
Manufacturers cut 51,000 jobs, construction companies axed 35,000 jobs, retailers got rid of 40,000 positions, business services shed 27,000 and financial services slashed 17,000 positions, with securities and investment firms accounting for 8,000 of those reductions. Leisure and hospitality companies also reduced employment by 17,000. That overwhelmed employment gains by the government, in education, health and elsewhere.
With the problems on Wall Street and deepening economic concerns it doesn't appear likely that the remaining three months of the year are going to be much different than the September report. You can see the jobs report here.