Employers slash jobs for third straight month while unemployment jumps to 5.1%, a nearly three-year high.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. employers slashed jobs for the third straight month in March and unemployment rose to a nearly three-year high, offering the latest signs that the economy has fallen into a recession.http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/04/news/ec ... 2008040412
The Labor Department's much anticipated report, released Friday, showed a net loss of 80,000 jobs last month. That marks the third straight month that jobs have fallen - the longest period of decline since early 2003.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast that payrolls would fall by 50,000 in the latest reading. The new report also pegged job losses in January and February at 76,000 each month.
Those revisions added an additional 67,000 job losses to previous readings. The Labor Department now estimates that the economy has shed 232,000 jobs in the first three months of this year.
The job losses were widespread, with the battered construction sector losing 51,000 jobs and manufacturing employment falling by 48,000. But there were also losses in key service sector industries. Retail employment dropped by 12,000 jobs, and business and professional service employers cut staff by 35,000.