Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wave of Layoffs In U.S., Europe Show Severity of the Recession

From USA Today:

Household names such as Caterpillar, (CAT) Home Depot (HD) and Sprint Nextel (S) said Monday that they are laying off a combined 35,000 workers in moves that stressed the severity of the worldwide recession and kicked off what is likely to be a week of gloomy earnings announcements, further job cuts and dismal data.

The layoffs continued Tuesday as Corning said it is cutting 3,500 jobs, or 13% of its payroll.

The news ratchets up the pressure on the Obama administration and Congress as lawmakers debate an $825 billion stimulus package intended to save or create millions of jobs. Far more job cuts are likely as consumer and business spending tumbles amid what many economists say is the worst recession the USA has seen since the Great Depression.

"Some of the worst job losses are ahead of us, not behind us," says Wells Fargo senior economist Scott Anderson.

STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES: Indiana, S. Carolina see largest increases; see rates for all 50 states

He expects 3 million Americans to lose their jobs in 2009 — up from the 2.6 million who were cut last year, which was the most since 1945, the final year of World War II. The layoffs are happening in "all industries in all areas of the world," Anderson says. "This will be one of the worst job markets in the postwar period."

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