The latest overall job loss numbers showed a loss of 159,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate remained at 6.1%, close to a five-year high. This is the largest payroll drop since March 2003. In the 2001 recession, monthly losses hit a high of 325,000. The 1990-91 recession peaked at 306,000 losses. As you can see from the chart below, numbers peak toward the end of a recession (recessions are marked by grey bands), making employment a lagging indicator.
Here is a breakdown of where the job losses were as well as which sectors were adding jobs. Worst hit was construction, manufacturing, and retail. Health services and government added the most jobs.
Total change in non-farm payroll = - 159,000
- Private Sector = - 77,000
- Natural Resources & Mining = + 9,000
- Construction = - 35,000
- Manufacturing = - 51,000
- Durable goods = - 37,000
- Non-durable goods = - 14,000
- Services = - 82,000
- Wholesale Trade = - 4,100
- Retail Trade = - 40,100
- Transportation = - 16,100
- Utilities = + 2,900
- Information & Media = - 3,000
- Financial Svcs & Real Estate = - 17,000
- Professional & Business Svcs = - 27,000
- Education = + 4,200
- Health Svcs = + 20,600
- Leisure = - 17,000
- Government = +9,000
Despite the increase in job losses, the futures are actually pointing to a stronger open as many are expecting the House of Representatives to approve the financial bail out plan. News of Wells Fargo outbidding Citigroup for Wachovia is also indicating that there is some life in the markets.