Saturday, December 06, 2008

Fall in US employment is the worst since 1974 recession

Barack Obama is about to find that cleaning up after Bush is a gargantuan task:

More than half a million jobs were axed in the US last month, making November 2008 the worst period for the labour market since the recession of the mid-Seventies and presaging renewed pressure on consumer spending in the world's largest economy.

The data also triggered more concern over the US housing market, which is at the root of the credit crisis and where mortgage arrears and foreclosure proceedings soared to a new record in the third quarter, it was revealed yesterday.

In the expectation of slumping global growth, the oil price tumbled on both sides of the Atlantic, capping its worst week since the 1991 Gulf war. Brent crude in London fell below $40 a barrel for the first time in four years, and light sweet crude traded in New York settled at $40.81, 25 per cent lower than a week ago.

The total number of jobs lost last month was 533,000, the worst since December 1974 and the fifth worst since the Second World War. Economists had forecast a figure of about 350,000, although there had been clues throughout the week that they may have underestimated the hard-headedness with which business has responded to the credit crisis and the US recession.

Indeed the situation is so grim that even a serial denier like Bush has been forced to finally come clean and admit that the economy is in recession.
"Our economy is in a recession," Bush said flatly, speaking to reporters on the South Lawn only hours after the release of a government report showing the biggest month of job losses in 34 years. "This is in large part because of severe problems in our housing, credit and financial markets, which have resulted in significant job losses."
This admission comes at a time when Bush is engaging in a series of interviews designed to sell his abysmal presidency as some kind of success. It's going to be a bloody hard sell. He steps down leaving his nation fighting two wars and facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The only consolation is that Obama is taking over rather than McCain. But my God is Obama going to be engaged in an uphill battle cleaning up after this prick.

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