Far Worse Than Thought
October job losses worse than feared
Fri Nov 7, 2008 8:49am EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Employers cut payrolls by 240,000 in October, much more severely than expected, while September registered the biggest monthly loss in jobs in nearly seven years, according to a government report on Friday that showed labor markets were sharply deteriorating.
The Labor Department said the national unemployment rate shot up to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent in September, the highest since March 1994.
October’s job cuts were much worse than anticipated by Wall Street economists who had forecast 200,000 would be lost. Even more strikingly, the department revised September’s losses to 284,000–the highest since November 2001 just after the September terror attacks–and also revised August losses higher to 127,000.
That meant 179,000 more jobs were cut in August and September than previously had been thought. In total over the three months through October, 651,000 jobs have been slashed from payrolls.
In manufacturing alone, a whopping 90,000 jobs were cut in October–a period when 27,000 Boeing Co. assembly workers were on strike. That followed a loss of 56,000 factory jobs in September.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville, editing by Neil Stempleman)