That lower one was in 1948-50. If we keep going down at the rate we have been, we'll surpass that in the next two months.
The American economy lost 467,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.5 percent in a sobering indication that the most painful downturn since the Great Depression has yet to release its hold.
“The numbers are indicative of a continued, very severe recession,” said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. “There’s nothing in here to show that the economy and the market are pulling out of the grip of recession.”
The latest monthly snapshot of the nation’s job situation, released on Thursday by the Labor Department, reinforced a consensus that high levels of unemployment were likely to remain for many months and perhaps years. That will almost surely increase the difficulties of finding work for millions of jobless people while limiting wages and working hours for those employed.
After a May report that showed the pace of deterioration was moderating — with a revised figure of 322,000 net jobs lost for the month — some economists expressed hopes that an economic recovery might finally be emerging. But the June report tempered such visions with the monotony of continued decline.
For another month, manufacturing jobs disappeared, dipping by 136,000, while construction jobs shrank by 79,000 and retail by 21,000. Health care remained a rare bright spot, adding 21,000 jobs.
The losses for June brought the tally of jobs shed since the beginning of the recession to 6.5 million — a figure equivalent to the net job gains over the previous nine years.
“This is the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all jobs growth from the previous business cycle,” Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute in Washington, said in a research note. She called this fact “a devastating benchmark for the workers of this country and a testament to both the enormity of the current crisis and to the extreme weakness of jobs growth from 2000 to 2007.”