The unemployment rate rose from 6.8% to 7.2% while the nonfarm payroll employment declined by 524,000. The following graphs give some idea of the gravity of the situation,
This article has some additional grim news,
“There is no end in sight in terms of layoffs,” said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. “January could be worse because some companies put layoffs on hold because of holiday sensitivities.”
Not only are employers slashing jobs; they also are cutting workers’ hours and forcing some into part-time work. The average work week in December fell to 33.3 hours, the lowest level on records dating to 1964 — and a sign of more job reductions in the months ahead, economists said.