Government Struggling to Keep Up With Job Losses; “Stimulus” Too Late

The nation’s rapid job losses could be piling up too quickly for the government to keep up, the Washington Post reported.

From Fox News

With the unemployment rate jumping to 8.1 percent last month, the government is facing increasing pressure to take action.

But analysts warn that actions taken so far to stabilize the economy haven’t been enough.

The stimulus package was designed to “save or create” 3.5 million jobs, but the nation has already passed that with 4.4 million jobs having been lost.

“It’s premature to say we need another stimulus, but the economy is performing much worse than when [the law] was signed, and the odds are increasing that we’ll need a bigger policy response,” Mark Zandi of Moody’s told the Post. “What we’ve learned is policy has been a step behind this whole downturn. It’s important to get a step ahead.”

And others say the government hasn’t yet grappled with the scope of the problem.

“I think what it shows is neither the government nor many economists have a grasp yet of how bad the economy really is right now,” Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group, told the Post. “We can’t get our arms around what’s going on.”

On Friday, the Labor Department reported the nation’s unemployment rate had bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening recession.

The net loss of 651,000 jobs came after even deeper payroll reductions in the prior two months, according to revised figures released Friday. The economy lost 681,000 jobs in December and another 655,000 in January.

The president wouldn’t say in an interview posted on The New York Times’ Web site Saturday whether the economy will be growing again by year’s end. He said that timing depends on several factors. Notable among them was his call for other countries to take actions to shore up their financial markets and coordinate those actions with the U.S.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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