The latest employment data shows a loss of 598,000 jobs in January, slightly more than expected, while the unemployment rate shot up to 7.6 percent.
CNBC asked economists, executives and political leaders what the deep cuts mean for the economy.
El-Erian: ‘Shock and Awe’ Needed to Combat Recession
“The employment number is very concerning. The acceleration in job losses is of particular concern…we’ve lost half of the total jobs in the last three months, and we’ve gone from an unemployment rate of 4.9 to 7.6 percent in just a year, so it’s telling you in a very clear and loud manner that we are in the midst of something very different. It’s more than just a synchronized and severe global recession, it’s more than just a banking system that’s not functioning…People are going into preservation mode, into precautionary mode. Even those who can spend are not spending, and that is a major concern if you look forward.”
Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco Co-CEO & Co-CIO
Rep. Maloney Calls for Action
“I think these numbers speak starkly to action. They’re bad clear across every section of the country and every sector of our economy. Even the good news is dim: one area where we’re gaining in healthcare and private education, that has slowed. It’s a stunning job loss, almost 600,000 this past month, more than we expected. I think that it speaks for action and acting now. We can no longer sit there and fiddle with numbers while the economy is burning.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
Credit Crisis, Job Losses & the Economy
About half of the job losses of the entire recession occurred in the last three months of the year, really underscoring the role that the credit seizure in October, November and December, starting in the wake of Lehman’s demise, really did pull the rug out from underneath the stumbling economy and pushed it into a new low
Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial Chief Economist
More Job Cuts Ahead?
By the end of this year, we could an unemployment rate around 9 or 9.5 percent if the stimulus package actually goes into effect. I’m afraid we’re going to be deep into double digits if we don’t have a stimulus package…This is a downward vicious cycle.”
Robert Reich, Former Labor Secretary
More news from CNBC.com:
- Nearly 600,000 Jobs Lost As Unemployment Hits 7.6%
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