Unemployment at 6.1% and climbing

People on line at a job fair in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

TEXT OF STORY

The government's report this morning on August job numbers is shaking up Wall Street. The economy shed 84,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate jumped to 6.1 percent. Marketplace's Steve Henn has the story.


Steve Henn: Ouch. Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. economy has lost more than half a million jobs. Mark Zandi is at economy.com.

Mark Zandi: If you go back earlier in the year, most of the job losses were really in housing-related industries -- construction and realtor jobs and mortgage finance. It's now much broader than that.

Last month, manufacturing shed 61,000 jobs. Retail lost 14,000. Professional and business services 53,000.

Peter Morici: Why? And the answer is there's inadequate demand out there.

Peter Morici's an economist at the University of Maryland.

Morici: We're spending so much on gasoline and imported oil. We are spending so much of our money on imported goods as opposed to goods made here. And we don't have exports to pay for it.

Economist Diane Swonk at Mesirow Financial says there's more trouble ahead ...

Diane Swonk ... as consumers actually close some of their wallets and cut back on their spending.

Swonk says we are headed into a very unhappy holiday shopping season and more tough times for both businesses and the economy.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...