Unemployment reaches 9.5 percent in June
The American economy lost 467,000 more jobs in June, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.5 percent in a sobering indication that the longest recession since the 1930s had yet to release its hold.
“The numbers are indicative of a continued, very severe recession,” said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh. “There’s nothing in here to show that the economy and the market are pulling out of the grip of recession.”
The Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of employment, released Thursday, challenged visions of a recovery already taking root. The numbers intensify pressure on the Obama administration to show returns on programs aimed at improving national fortunes — not least its $787 billion stimulus plan.
Some economists are now calling for another dose of government spending to stimulate the economy, though the White House maintains that enough money is in the pipeline already.
“Not all the recovery money has been put to work yet,” said the labor secretary, Hilda L. Solis. “We’re making progress.”
But Ms. Solis acknowledged that joblessness was already much worse than the administration projected in January when it created its stimulus spending bill, suggesting then that joblessness would peak at about 8 percent.
This is the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all jobs growth from the previous business cycle ... a devastating benchmark for the workers of this country and a testament to both the enormity of the current crisis and to the extreme weakness of jobs growth from 2000 to 2007.”— Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute in Washington