Another 651,000 jobs disappeared from the American economy in February, the government reported Friday, as the unemployment rate soared to 8.1 percent — its highest level since 1983.
By Peter Goodman and Jack Healy
The New York Times
The latest grim scorecard of contraction in the American workplace largely destroyed what hopes remained for an economic recovery in the first half of this year, and added to a growing sense that 2009 is probably a lost cause.
Most economists now assume that the American fortunes will not improve before near the end of the year, as the Obama administration’s $787 billion emergency spending program begins to wash through the economy.
“The current pace of decline is breathtaking,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “We are now falling at a near record rate in the postwar period and there’s been no change in the violent downward trajectory.”
Indeed, the monthly snapshot of the national employment picture worsened an already abysmal picture….