Career and Job-Hunting Blog
Career and job-search news, trends, and scoops for job-seekers, compiled by the staff of Quintessential Careers.
|Career and Job-Hunting Blog Index|
|January 9, 2009|
More than half a million Americans lost their jobs in December, making 2008 one of the worst years for job losses.
The Department of Labor announced today that employers cut 524,000 jobs last month — the 12th consecutive month of job losses, with almost 2 million jobs lost in the last four months of 2008 and a total of 2.6 million jobs lost for all of 2008 — the highest total job-loss for a calendar year period since 1945, the year World War II ended.
The nation’s unemployment rate jumped from 6.8 to 7.2 percent — a 16-year high. The unemployment rate for teenagers went to 20.8 percent. Women had the lowest unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent.
Among those still employed, more than 8 million people were underemployed, working less than full-time for economic reasons — the highest ever on records that date back to 1955 — raising the so-called underemployment rate to a record 13.5 percent.
Job cuts were widespread across most industry sectors. Manufacturing lost a whopping 149,000 jobs, the leisure and hospitality industries jobs declined by 22,000, construction cut another 101,000 jobs, retailers slashed another 66,600 workers, professional and business services lost 113,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing declined by 24,000, and financial services jobs fell by 14,000.
On the plus side, healthcare jobs continued to grow, with 32,000 new jobs — bringing the total to 372,000 new jobs added in healthcare in 2008. And another 7,000 new government jobs were created.
We have to hope that 2009 will be better — not right away as job losses are expected for at least the first half of the year as companies continue to announce cutbacks and layoffs — and that the government’s actions will improve private-sector employment.
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- Q&A with Career & College Experts
- The Career Doctor Career Advice Column
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